Today I embarked on a little fieldtrip with two of my chiropractor peers to a well-known auto insurance company’s downtown office to give a presentation. The male chiropractor (and a good friend of mine) had set up the meeting and was there for moral support. Or maybe just eye candy for the female-dominated boardroom. And comic relief- we needed this- today was our first day of snow! The other female chiropractor had put together an impressive, evidence-based presentation on shoulder injuries and how we (chiros who apply A.R.T. to treat muscles) diagnose and treat these injuries which are actually quite common.
My presentation was all about “TMJD” which stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction/disorder/displeasure/whatever. It’s really a long, fancy term for jaw issues but I’ll break down for you.
“Temporo” is in reference to the temporal bone of the skull (the temporalis muscle also refers to its location on this bone), part of which makes up the top of the joint that holds the pointy piece. “Mandibular” refers to the mandible bone, the jaw bone itself that provides the pointy piece of the joint. “Joint” because the connection of two bones that move in relation to one another is a joint. And dysfunction or disorder is when you’re having problems with this jaw joint.
There is a disc within this joint and the joint has 3 main types of movement so it’s a pretty complicated little bugger that is meant to handle a lot of stress while we eat, talk, yawn wide, etc. This joint and the whole issue of “TMJD” is relevant to you if you have pain in the region. Well, ya… that’s obvious.
But here’s something you may not have known… sometimes headaches, neck tension, problems chewing and even ear issues (fullness, sharp pain or ringing in the ears)… can be caused by a loss of proper function in this area. So what should you do? See me! I deal with this stuff all the time. What will I do with you? Well maybe dinner by candlelight and a nice bubbly…. or maybe I’ll just work on the many “MUSCLES OF MASTICATION”. They sound like superheroes for a reason! These muscles are strong suckers and if they aren’t working properly, you got 99 problems and chewing gum ain’t one! Basically, stop chewing those chewy foods… stop clenching your jaw under stress… stop biting your nails… stop slouching… and see me! Preferably after popping a breath mint or two 😉 Then I’ll make you hurt so good and you’ll be hearing, chewing, singing and yodeling a lot better in 4-6 weeks. It’s what I do! And you’re welcome….