Temporomandibular joint disorder or ‘TMJ’ is an acute or chronic inflammation of the joint which connects the lower jawbone to the skull. Acupuncture has been shown to help relax these targeted muscles and decrease the overall stress level in the body to relieve discomfort.
There are 10 million Americans who suffer from TMJ Disorder. There are many symptoms associated with TMJ, such as:
• Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
• Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
• Dull, aching pain in the face
• Earache (particularly in the morning)
• Headache (particularly in the morning)
• Hearing loss
• Migraine (particularly in the morning)
• Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
• Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
• Neck and shoulder pain
One of the main causes of TMJ is stress; however, some other causes may include: bruxism (repetitive unconscious clenching or grinding of teeth, often at night), trauma, improper alignment of the jaw and teeth, degenerative joint disease, myofascial pain, or even excessive gum chewing and nail biting.
Acupuncture helps to relax the muscles surrounding the jaw, which also lowers stress and helps to alleviate the symptoms of TMJ. Acupuncture directly targets the main source of pain by providing balance to the mind and body. It also targets the network of energy channels known as meridians, which in turn allows the neuromascular tension in the jaw to diminish. Blockages then are opened and pain and stiffness subsides. Acupuncture can also help to release endorphins, as well as serotonin which helps to reduce pain.
An article published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (Vol 15, no. 12, 2009) reported muscle activity in the jaw was reduced at rest, during jaw protrusion, and while clenching following acupuncture treatment. In addition, patients were able to bite down harder without pain.
Our acupuncturists at CNY Healing Arts Centers would love to assist you in getting the relief you need! Please call us or just stop in and give us the opportunity to help you. It would be our pleasure!
191 Intrepid Lane, Syracuse, NY 13205
38A Old Sparrowbush Road, Latham, NY 12110
2244 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610
585.244.1280 ext. 2