Upper cervical chiropractic: What’s the best way to deal with TMJ syndrome?

Dr. Philip Schalow’s featured article, “Ask the Doc,” appears monthly. Send questions for Dr. Schalow to MyRockfordChiropractor@gmail.com.

By Dr. Philip Schalow

TMJ syndrome, short for temporomandibular joint syndrome, is a problem that centers on the jaw. The cause of TMJ syndrome can be more complex. The jaw is connected to the head (the temporal bone), which can be misaligned from trauma or tooth extractions. The jaw is also connected to muscles attached to another bone that can be misaligned from face trauma, or even foot trauma (the sphenoid bone). But, if you take a more global view, the lower jaw is connected to the upper jaw (the head), which is connected to the neck. So, the neck can even be the source of the TMJ problem.

The good news is that the upper cervical correction using the NUCCA procedure can happily influence all of those elements to restore proper balance in the jaw. Of course, if the teeth are misaligned and causing the jaw problem, you need a dentist to help with that component. Sometimes, when the problem has been present for years, the joint surface wears away, but even if the cartilage is worn away, we can see relief. The first step is always to be sure the head and neck are balanced for total function and maximum healing potential.

Dr. Philip Schalow is a NUCCA practitioner in Rockford. He owns 1st Step Chiropractic, S.C., 4519 Highcrest Road, Rockford. Call (815) 398-4500 for details or visit www.MyRockfordChiropractor.com.

From the May 7-13, 2014, issue

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