If you are suffering from grinding your teeth, jaw pain, or hear a “popping” sound when moving your mouth, you may be experiencing a condition known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). TMJ is a common condition with an estimated 3 million Americans diagnosed with TMJ symptoms every year. At Rhino Chiropractic, located in Rockville Centre, New York, Dr. John Gehnrich understands exactly how painful and frustrating these symptoms can be.
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 utilizes several techniques including:
With the expert hands of Dr. John, each of these methods are used to gently re-align the neck and jaw and reduce TMJ symptoms very carefully and effectively. In addition, Dr. John has found that some patients also benefit from cold laser therapy for enhanced pain relief when it comes to TMJ.
Dr. Gehnrich uses an upper cervical technique, the Palmer method, to gently maneuver the neck into correct alignment. Doing so helps to alleviate painful TMJ symptoms by restoring correct alignment to the atlas vertebra, the top vertebra in the spine. It is helpful to 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. A correctly aligned vertebra alleviates pressure on nearby nerves, improving communication between the brain and the body (See the Neuro-Structural Connection for more information). 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.
Cold Laser therapy has also been found to be extremely effective in helping to alleviate TMJ symptoms. 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 moves the cold laser beam over the sore jaw joint. The light beam energy reduces internal inflammation after an injury by relaxing the muscles around the jaw. Unlike medications that “mask” pain symptoms, cold laser therapy directly addresses your jaw pain in a natural, non-invasive way for longer lasting relief.