Chiropractic for Headaches Caused by TMJ

Video by Dr. Bryan Stephens

Chiropractic for Headaches Caused by TMJ

Over 10 million people in the US struggle with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.  There are a wide variety of causes of the disorder, which can include problems with the disc and retrodiscal tissue, trigger points in the muscles, imbalance of the muscles, and teeth grinding (bruxism), but most of them stem from dysfunction of the tmj that leads to further inflammation and pain.

Hmm. Joint dysfunction causing pain?  That sounds familiar.  Once again, Hilton’s law can help get through pain by increasing joint movement and function which creates less stress and inflammation which creates less pain! Once the problem is diagnosed, we can adjust the tmj to restore proper motion.  Throughout my years of practice, patients are always surprised to hear that chiropractors adjust the jaw as well as extremities.  Once the movement has been restored, there are stretches and exercises that can be utilized to further strengthen and stabilize the muscles surrounding the tmj to improve the function and lessen pain.  The exercises are fairly simple and can be done easily throughout the day because no equipment is necessary to do these.

The premise is resisted movement of the jaw through all ranges of motion.  While using your fingers, put them along your cheek and resist side motion of your jaw for 10 repetitions.  Repeat it for the other side as well.  Once those are done, put pressure on the bottom of your chin and resist the opening of your mouth.  You’re not trying to overpower the jaw and strain it, merely provide resistance through the motion.  Following resisted opening, open your mouth and resist closing your mouth.  Be especially careful not to bite your fingers!  The last two are often overlooked.  Resist pushing your jaw forward and finally hold the back angle of your jaw and resist jaw retraction.  These 6 movements can help stabilize the jaw and keep it from continuing through the imbalances that started the pain in the first place.

This focuses on helping the physical aspects of tmj pain. There is also a stress aspect that should be addressed as many people grind their teeth when stressed.  Find your technique for managing stress to further lower the amount of tension on the jaw.  As always, it’s a three-pronged focus for health.  It comes down to our movement, our nutrition, and managing our stress.




Our Message

If you’re looking for a Chiropractor near you that you can trust, choose one who will not only get rid of your back pain, neck pain, or headaches but who will also guide you to living a healthier lifestyle to keep you out of pain. Our Chiropractors located in St. Louis Park, near the corner of MN-100 S & Lake Rd./Westside Dr., will teach you what the research says about how and why we should eat a better diet, move more and have more positive thoughts. By improving these areas of our lives we can become healthier and stay out of pain!