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Do you suffer from jaw pain, grind or clench your teeth at night, hear a “popping” or “locking” sound, or frequently experience headaches upon waking? If so, you may have a condition know as TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ pain is very common with an estimated 3 million Americans experiencing this condition each year. Unfortunately, many of these Americans struggle to find effective treatment options that manage their pain and address the underlying cause. Here at Rhino Chiropractic, our Rockville Centre chiropractor Dr. John Gehnrich understands just how frustrating and painful this condition can be. Dr. Gehnrich uses several techniques including but not limited to upper cervical adjustment technique, low force technique, impulse adjustment, and Activator to to gently re-align the neck and jaw and reduce TMJ symptoms. Patients may also benefit from cold laser therapy for enhanced pain relief.
TMJ is joint disorder that occurs when the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw does not properly work. The specific cause for TMJ can vary from patient to patient. However, untreated whiplash injuries or sustaining another jaw/neck injury are associated with an increased risk for TMJ. Whiplash injuries occur when the force of a rear-impact accident abruptly “whips” the cervical spine backwards and forwards. This whipping action can strain the soft tissue in the neck and also increase the risk for a spinal misalignment. Effective TMJ treatment must address the underlying injury triggering pain.
Dr. Gehnrich uses an upper cervical technique, the Palmer method, to gently manipulate your neck into correct alignment, alleviating painful TMJ symptoms. The Palmer method focuses on restoring correct alignment to the atlas vertebra, the top vertebra in the spine. Think of the atlas vertebra as the top link in a long chain. When the top link is incorrectly aligned, the entire chain falls out of alignment.
Bringing the atlas vertebra back into alignment brings alignment back to the spine. A correctly aligned vertebra also alleviates pressure on nearby nerves, improving communication between the brain and the body. Correct alignment signals the body to enter a state of “ease” rather than “dis-ease.” An upper cervical adjustment not only helps to reduce TMJ symptoms, but also enhances a patient’s overall health.
In addition to the upper cervical technique, our Rockville Centre chiropractor Dr. Gehnrich may also recommend cold laser therapy for enhanced pain relief. Cold laser therapy is a non-invasive, drug-free approach to holistic care pain relief. Using a hand-held device called an Erchonia Laser, Dr. Gehnrich will direct the cold laser beam over the sore jaw joint. Energy from the light beam helps to reduce internal inflammation after an injury and aid tense muscles in relaxing more fully. Unlike medications that “mask” pain symptoms, Rockville cold laser therapy directly addresses your jaw pain for long-lasting relief.
For information about TMJ treatment including chiropractic adjustments and cold laser therapy, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our Rockville Centre chiropractor. Take the first step today: call 516-536-6000.