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La Jolla Chiropractor Care Case Study: Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain
A patient recently came to Team Elite Chiropractic with TMJ pain. TMJ, Temporo-Mandibular Joint, is any pain that is experienced in the jaw joint itself or the muscles/nerves that surround the area.
She was referred to our practice by a massage therapist at LivKraft. She had been experiencing severe jaw pain for a few weeks and it was progressively getting worse.
When we completed our comprehensive assessment we discovered:
- She could barely open her jaw and it was painful to do so
- The muscles in her jaw were extremely tight
- She was experiencing regular migraines
- She recently started experiencing headaches
- She had limited range of motion in her neck
The Treatment Plan
The treatment plan included both in-office treatment and at-home exercises.
Our in-office treatment plan utilized laser therapy, active release technique, and adjustments.
- Laser therapy works through a process called photobiomodulation to stimulate the cells to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is cellular energy and is used as the body’s energy source. The stimulation of ATP speeds up your body’s natural healing ability of the surrounding tissues, reduces pain, and reduces inflammation. We used our class IV laser on both sides of her jaw.
- Active release technique (ART) is a treatment method designed to address soft tissue disorders in athletes. In this treatment, we provide manual compression and tension to injured areas of muscles and tendons with active motion to break up adhesions, improve range of motion, and stimulate the soft tissue to begin the healing process. For this patient, we utilized ART for the jaw muscles on the inside and outside of her mouth, as well as her neck.
- Chiropractic adjustments are quick, small thrusts, to get the restricted joint moving and restore normal range of motion. For this patient, we focused on adjusting her upper back and neck.
Our at-home exercises are designed to speed up healing and recovery. The exercises for this treatment plan included:
Super Band Cervical Traction:
Self Myofascial Release:
Thread the needle:
We saw this patient twice per week for 3 weeks, then once per week for 2 weeks. After each visit, the patient was experiencing less pain and a better range of motion.
At the end of 5 weeks, the patient was 100% pain-free with a better range of motion in her neck than she’s ever had before.
If you are experiencing TMJ, book an appointment today for an assessment with our talented team of chiropractors.