TMJ & Chronic Joint Pain – A Common Correlation
The above is the homunculus representation of how our brain is unevenly distributed to different body parts. The bigger the body part represented, the more processing our brain dedicates to those regions. For example, the hand is very large compared to the arm; that is because we need way more brain power to control all the fine motor movements of our hand then just doing bicep curls with our arms.
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint), which you can see, it takes up quite a large area in the homunculus diagram. Researchers have demonstrated that over a third of both sensory and motor aspects of the brain are devoted to the ‘dental area.’ This means that dysfunction in the TMJ will have widespread complications that are not limited to just our face and neck!
TMJ and Posture?
There are many studies on TMJ dysfunction that is related to postural dysfunction, headaches, ear-related symptoms, and neck dysfunctions. However, in Applied Kinesiology, we assess the TMJ not only for people with the above symptoms but with any joint dysfunction. In the past couple month, over 50% of my patients tested positive for a TMJ dysfunction. Other causes of TMJ dysfunction are direct trauma to the head, whiplash, grinding at night, chewing food only on one side, any dental work (especially palate extension), plus many more.
How do you know if you have a TMJ dysfunction?
Stand in front of a mirror, open and close your mouth slowly, do you notice any deviation to one side or another? You might need a friend to videotape this and review it. Is there any clicking in your jaw? Take a selfie of your resting face, and turn the selfie upside down, do you notice any asymmetry between the two sides of your face? Those are all very simple ways for you to self-examine for a possible TMJ issue.
What to Do?
If you think you might have a TMJ problem, opt to visit an Applied Kinesiology health practitioner! They will help you find muscular dysfunctions that are related to your jaw, and our treatment will include soft tissue therapy, mobilizations, and cranial therapy.
A normal health practitioner might only do soft tissue and maybe mobilization to the joint (if they even bother to examine at your jaw). But the TMJ is directly connected our cranial sutures (bones in our skull). So when someone has a TMJ problem, they will most likely have cranial faults!
Book your Applied Kinesiology Appointment HERE