In the U.S. alone, a staggering 10 million people are affected by jaw issues. Jaw disorders are an umbrella term for several painful symptoms involving the jaw, including a locked jaw, pain or tenderness in the jaw, and pain around the ears, neck, and face. People looking for a TMJ pain chiropractic clinic near Escondido are very much aware of the daily challenges that come along with this condition.
Although pretty unpopular, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a vital part of the body. Aside from connecting the jaw to the skull, the TMJ allows your mouth’s movements such as when you are chewing, yawning, and speaking.
If your life has been nothing short of a misery because of TMJ pain, you likely have a first-hand account of the hardship in accomplishing activities, like eating or talking. Anyone with TMJ disorders may suffer from decreased productivity and lower overall quality of life. In this article, we’ll discuss some remedies and lifestyle changes that you can do to alleviate TMJ pains at home.
7 Home Remedies for TMJ Pain
Just when you thought life can’t get any worse, you suffer from TMJ pain and stress in the middle of the pandemic. Good news is there are remedies that can help you reduce TMJ pain while you’re sheltering in place:
#1. Icing Your Jaw
Have chronic jaw pain? Chances are you might have some inflammation in your jaw. While anti-inflammatory medicines can help ease the swelling, taking a pill every time the pain strikes might lead to overmedication.
Overmedicating can result in resistance to the drug, making it less effective. To avoid this scenario,, you might want to ice your jaw using an ice pack. You can also use a thick cloth or towel to wrap the ice, instead of placing it directly on the skin. This way, you avoid hurting your jaw even further with the cold. As a rule of thumb, when cooling your jaw with an ice pack, keep the process under 20 minutes.
#2. Jaw Rest
Doctors always tell us to rest our body parts that hurt, our jaw included. Resting the jaw means limiting yourself from talking or only moving your mouth slowly. Avoid eating foods that require too much chewing, like hard steak and burgers. Eating softer foods until the pain subsides can also help your jaw to recover better. Giving your jaw a break whenever it begins to hurt should be one of the first things you should do.
#3. Jaw Exercises or Massages
Jaw exercises can also help improve your TMJ problem, such as a locked jaw. People visiting a TMJ pain chiropractic clinic near Escondido are also advised to try some jaw stretches to regain motion in their jaws. Doing these exercises can help relieve the pain, soreness, and stiffness of the jaw. Also, try massaging the jaw to alleviate the stress and excess tension in the area.
#4. Avoiding Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism, the medical term for grinding one’s teeth involuntarily, can negatively impact the jaw and can lead to chronic jaw pain. If you are experiencing TMJ pains and continue to grind your teeth, you might be adding fuel to the fire. Be conscious of the times you grind your teeth so that you can correct this habit. If you grind your teeth while sleeping, protect your jaw by wearing a mouthguard to bed.
#5. Managing Stress
Stress can also lead to TMJ pains and even aggravate the already existing symptoms. Considered a trigger to many pain conditions, stress can cause muscle tension and soreness. People who are often exposed to stressors may deal with pain in the neck, shoulders, and jaw. They may also grind their teeth unknowingly. To manage your stress levels, make sure to take enough breaks during stressful days. Try breathing exercises or yoga to alleviate stress. You can also begin a hobby to de-stress.
#6. Cutting Back on Caffeine
Caffeine is an ingredient known to heighten anxiety in an individual. If you drink a lot of coffee or energy beverages throughout the day, you’d notice that you often experience muscle tension and possibly, jaw pains. While drinking coffee does not cause TMJ pain, per se, it can definitely worsen the pain you already feel. Hence, try to limit your cup of coffee every day. Drink more water instead as it can help reduce muscle tension and soreness.
#7. Keeping A Good Posture
Poor posture can lead to misalignments in the cervical spine, which may result in TMJ pains. Imagine this: our skull and jaw are connected on top of the upper cervical spine. This part of the spine has no problem balancing your head in a straight position, but when you adjust your head to the level of your phones or monitors, you add more stress and tension in this area. The upper cervical spine and jaw sit next to each other, so issues in the neck can definitely manifest as pain in the jaw area.
These home remedy tips can help alleviate TMJ pains. However, there is another way that can offer you long-lasting relief from TMJ pains and other related issues.
A Natural And Safe Solution for TMJ Pains
If you try the home remedies mentioned above and you feel your TMJ pain is not getting any better, there might be a chance that there is an existing underlying issue in your neck. Addressing the root of the problem is always a better course of action than just chasing symptoms.
As mentioned earlier, upper cervical misalignments can lead to issues in the jaw area due to their proximity. The upper cervical spine is consists of the atlas and axis bones, which protect the brainstem as well as connect the head to the neck. Even a slight misalignment in the upper cervical spine can lead to detrimental results that can affect you for life if left ignored.
Misalignments in this region can result from accidents, injury from heavy trauma, and poor posture. Hence, it makes perfect sense to check the neck area for any misalignment as it is essential to prevent conditions like TMJ pains. Fortunately, there is an existing natural method that can do just that and more. When people look for a TMJ pain chiropractic clinic near Escondido, they look for a long-term solution to their painful problem. This is what upper cervical chiropractic care can offer.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic for TMJ Pain
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care is a unique branch of chiropractic care focusing on the spine’s topmost bones– the atlas and the axis. These two bones can misalign easily due to their position and range of movement. Upper cervical chiropractors can easily diagnose any issues in this area of the neck.
Before the adjustment process, upper cervical chiropractors use modern assessment methods to determine if the TMJ pain resulted from a misalignment in the neck. Then, the chiropractors will plan out a tailor-made adjustment procedure for you that only requires gentle and accurate movements. Guiding the bones of the neck into their places through upper cervical chiropractic care leads to long-lasting results and better healing.
If you are looking for a TMJ pain chiropractic clinic near Escondido, come visit us here at Rickards Precision Chiropractic & Wellness. Call us at (760) 745-1511 or fill out this form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rickards.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rickards, call our Escondido office at (760) 745-1511. You can also click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.