Craig Amrine L.Ac.
Acupuncture Improves TMJ
Last week we saw a several patients for TMJ. What is TMJ? It’s jaw pain. Specifically it’s called “Temperomandibular joint disorder”. This jaw pain can be on one or both sides of the jaw… and can get so bad that it can prevent you from moving your jaw and chewing food. It can get so bad that even your sleep can be affected. The swelling in the muscles around the jaw and the joint can be caused by several different reasons. One of the reasons for TMJ could be from past trauma or surgery in the jaw or teeth. The much more common reason, however… is stress. Everybody “holds” their stress differently. Some feel it in their neck and shoulders, some feel it as pressure in their chest, and others get affected in their digestion. There ARE some folks however where they hold their stress in their jaw….leading to massive jaw pain. These people will very likely grind their teeth at night… or periodically clench their jaw throughout the day. Typical treatments include giving the patients a “bit” to prevent them from grinding the enamel off their teeth. Unfortunately, the underlying cause is never addressed The combination of acupuncture and cold laser therapy, however are wonderful to decrease pain and significantly reduce the inflammation in the jaw. Besides addressing the local pain and inflammation, acupuncture is also incredibly effective in decreasing the stress response that is the underlying cause for most TMJ pain.