Acupuncture for TMJ

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is the common name given to any dysfunction or pain of the temporomandibular joint. This is the paired joint that connects the lower and upper jaws. It is one of the most complex joints in the body and there are a variety of disorders connected to it. These disorders are a combination of dental problems, neuromuscular disorders and mental stress. Acupuncture has been found to be an effective, temporary treatment for the pain.

Causes and Treatments for TMJ

Contact Us Now About Acupuncture for TMJ-DisorderThe four causes for TMJ disorder are myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome which involves the masticating muscles and clenching the teeth, the protective disc out of place, osteroarthritis where the joint surfaces are degenerating and temporal arthritis, and the inflammation of blood vessels. These causes are treated with medications, physical therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, oral splints and irrigation of the jaw joint.

The main symptoms are pain in the face muscles or when opening the mouth, locking of the jaw, a clicking sound in the jaw joint, headache, earache and tinnitus. Sometimes severe pain can extend to the neck and shoulders. Anti-inflammatory drugs and oral splints are the main treatments and surgery is used when the other treatments fail.

Acupuncture as a Treatment

The majority of people who use acupuncture as a treatment for TMJ experienced a reduction of pain. The needles are inserted around the neck, shoulders and jaw to relax constricted muscles and allow the blood to circulate freely, which also increases nutrients to the area. Needles may also be inserted in the arms, legs, feet, knees and elbows. By reversing the tension in the jaw, stress levels all over the body will be lowered. The nerves are stimulated which reduces pain, and neurotransmitters and endorphins are released, which block the sensation of pain.

Acupuncture Combined with other Treatments

Acupuncture is completely natural and has no side effects. It does not interact in any way with other treatments or medications. It is completely safe and can be done at any time. Even though the treatment focuses on the jaw and neck area, the whole body benefits from the stress relief. According to ancient Chinese theories, acupuncture balances energy. Modern research shows that the stimulation of the nerve, which changes the signal sent along the nerve cells, reduces pain along with the natural chemical pain blockers.

The Results

Six acupuncture treatments are recommended for an average case of TMJ. For chronic conditions more may be needed and fewer for mild conditions. The pain will be decreased, but long term treatment should also be sought. The cause of the TMJ disorder needs to be determined, dental work needs to be checked and lifestyle changes may be required to eliminate the condition completely.