Who are you calling face ache?
TMJ is not necessarily a well-known term. And in these days of LOL and OMG you could be forgiven for thinking it’s just the new TMI; but in fact it stands for temporomandibular joint. Which is the joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear. And TMJ disorder or syndrome is a condition affecting that joint and the muscles involved in chewing. It has no definitive cause but can be brought on by over-clenching of the jaw and teeth, wear and tear of the inside jaw, injury or surgery, and even stress. Symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Clicking, popping and grating noises when chewing or opening the mouth
- Neck/shoulder pain
All of which can have a significant impact on a sufferer’s lifestyle if left untreated. So, it’s worth seeking medical advice if symptoms are severe or long lasting then. It may, however, be possible to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ disorder by eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum and nail biting, and applying a warm or cold flannel to the affected area for ten to twenty minutes, several times a day.
Osteopathy can also be effective in easing the pain of TMJ disorder, with facial massage and joint manipulation, combined with acupuncture, providing relief to many sufferers. One patient who came to see me with this problem was very happy:
‘Denise listened to my symptoms and with a mixture of facial massage and acupuncture I noticed an immediate improvement in the level of pain. It took a few sessions for the pain to go completely but given I had been in a lot of pain for a long time this was understandable. After a particularly stressful period at work a few weeks ago the pain reoccurred, and I saw Denise again. This time the pain seemed to drag in my lower jaw and neck but again with massage in the neck, some manipulation and acupuncture I gained very quick and lasting relief.’ (Beverley Rowland, patient)
If you’re a sufferer of temporomandibular joint disorder looking for a way to potentially alleviate the painful symptoms, then why not book an appointment?