Alternative Treatments For TMJ Patients
For most patients who have temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, it is very important to first identify how displaced the articular discs are within the jaw joint, but it is equally important to identify cranial distortions and treat accordingly. If C-2 of the cervical spine is out of place, this will adversely affect the TMJ so it must be treated very carefully. Generally, an osteopath doctor is one of the best professionals to diagnose and treat this situation.
Another important item to identify on the front end of treatment are any cranial bone distortions, i.e., are the bones within the skull out of place? If the cranial bones are not level, not even, this will block the flow of important fluids like cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and proper lymphatic drainage may not occur.
What an osteopathic doctor can do is to realign a twisted neck or back ever so gently and carefully in order that the spinal processes go back into place where they belong.
When a patient has slipped discs in their jaw joints, they have likely been out of alignment throughout their whole body for some period of time and it will take months, if not years, to ever so gently get the whole body aligned properly.
When a temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) patient is referred to an osteopathic doctor, it is done with the understanding that the treatment will be done gently and carefully in order to avoid further damage to the already slipped discs. In many cases, the patient will be wearing their dental appliance(s) to prevent damage to the discs in the jaw joints during the course of treatment. The osteopath doctor knows that things are trying to move back into proper position and will direct his or her efforts toward that goal.
In most TMD cases, not only are the jaw joint discs out of place, but the cervical spine is out of place as well. And then just to make things even more difficult, in almost all cases the hips, legs, spine, and other areas are also quite out of place. For this reason, most TMD practitioners who are familiar with whole body mechanics will choose the path of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT).
OMT is hands-on care. It involves using the hands to diagnose, treat, and prevent illness or injury. Using OMT, your osteopathic physician will move your muscles and joints using techniques including stretching, gentle pressure and resistance. The benefits of this treatment can be remarkable.