If you find yourself experiencing pain in the muscles and joint of the jaw, you may be experiencing what is commonly referred to as “TMJ”. TMJ is pain and dysfunction in the Temporomandibular joint and the muscles that control jaw movement. Acupuncture has shown to be an effective treatment for this condition.
As well as just being effective, Acupuncture is one of the most effective drug-free treatments available for this condition. Research also shows that Acupuncture may promote the release of endorphins, ie, brain chemicals, which will help to ease pain.
By inserting thin needles into specific points on your body, practitioners of Acupuncture work to stimulate the flow of energy throughout a person’s system.
For TMJ syndrome, Acupuncturists may insert needles around the ear and the jaw, as well as near the elbows, knees, big toe, and other areas.
What causes TMJ
TMJ can be caused by a combination of muscle tension (teeth grinding or bruxism), anatomical problems, injury, or other issues such as braces. Also sometimes, there may be a psychological component from someone clenching their jaw during a time of emotional tension, intense determination, or frustration. Many people are completely unaware these muscles can remain contracted for long periods of time.
Over time and repetition, the symptoms include everything from severe headaches, neck/shoulder pain, earaches or dizziness to pain when opening one’s mouth, or chewing.
How many treatments will it take to see improvement
The number of Acupuncture sessions necessary to achieve results in treating TMJ will vary from patient to patient, depending on many factors. Acupuncture can be helpful in relieving the inflammation, pain and tension commonly associated with the condition. Studies have shown that patients with acute pain can experience immediate relief in a few treatments. It may take a series of treatments over several weeks for patients with more chronic conditions.
There may be a need for additional supportive solutions that complement Acupuncture treatments in some cases. Some of these additional tools may include working on stress reduction, relaxation techniques, and jaw stretching exercises. There may be a need for some dietary adjustments, wearing a night mouth guard or bite plates to help correct the misalignment. Everyone is a bit different.
By using Acupuncture many facets to the problem are being addressed all at the same time – stress, muscle tension, system imbalances, as well as the pain in the jaw area.
Results can be long lasting
The results from utilizing Acupuncture for this condition have shown in some tests to be long-lasting. In one 2008 Swedish study, scientists found that the majority of TMJ patients who had received Acupuncture 18 to 20 years earlier experienced a continuing improvement of their symptoms.
If you find yourself with persistent jaw pain, you may want to consider trying Acupuncture.