Chiropractic and TMJ: A Connection Worth Exploring

Chiropractic and TMJ: A Connection Worth Exploring


TMJ disorders, also known as Temporomandibular disorders, are problems related to the jaw joint. They can cause headaches, popping/clicking noises in the jaw, pain when chewing/turning the head quickly, and even poor sleep. Chiropractic treatment may be a helpful solution.

This article will explain how chiropractic care can be beneficial in treating TMJ disorders. It is uniquely qualified to address associated musculoskeletal issues that might be causing pain and discomfort.

What is TMJ?

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is a painful condition. It affects the jaw joint and the muscles that move it. Symptoms include jaw pain, clicking and popping noises, headaches, ear pain, and facial pain.

This article looks at chiropractic treatment for TMJ. We’ll consider the possible connection and explore the benefits of chiropractic care for those with TMJ.


TMJ dysfunction can bring about serious discomfort and mess with your everyday activities. Signs and symptoms that may indicate TMJ include:

  • Aching jaw pain
  • Pain or tenderness near your ear
  • Struggling to chew or hurting while chewing
  • Popping, grating, or clicking noises when opening/closing your mouth or chewing
  • Joint locking, making it difficult to open/close your mouth
  • Headaches and neck aches
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Blurred vision.


Many do not know that TMJ can be caused by various factors. These include:

  • Poor posture
  • Joint arthritis
  • Injury to jaw or head
  • Stress and teeth grinding
  • Overusing or misusing jaw muscles.

Certain medications and dental work can influence TMJ too, as well as teeth clenching or grinding. Moreover, arthritis, autoimmune conditions, allergies and other medical issues can lead to TMJ inflammation.

Fortunately, chiropractic manipulation and other treatment have been proven to reduce TMJ pain. Chiropractic care aims at correcting imbalances in the body, including joints near the ear, neck and jaw. That is why chiropractors have begun to recognize the connection between chiropractic and long-term TMJ relief.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

Chiropractic is an alternative medicine. It works with the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal system disorders. This is done by manipulating the spine and joints. The goal is for the patient to experience optimal health. This form of medical care is becoming more popular. People are using it to address issues such as pain and stiffness in the jaw, neck and shoulders. This is often referred to as temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ).

In this article, we will look at the potential benefits of chiropractic care for TMJ:

Manual Adjustments

Chiropractic care for TMJ can address misalignments and restore proper motion. Depending on diagnosis, a chiropractor may recommend manual adjustments or massage therapy. These manual adjustments involve specialized techniques and skillful manipulations of the TMJ joint and muscles surrounding it. Through these adjustments, a chiropractor can help to realign misaligned vertebrae in the neck, which may cause strain on jaw muscles and aggravate TMJ pain symptoms.

Additionally, a chiropractor may incorporate treatments such as

  • pulsed ultrasound therapy
  • neuromuscular re-education
  • electrotherapy

into the treatment plan. The goal is to create relief from TMJ pain and optimize the jaw’s range of motion.

Soft Tissue Techniques

Chiropractors often use soft tissue techniques such as myofascial release, trigger point therapy, instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization and massage to reduce pain from TMJ. By manipulating the facial, neck and jaw muscles, tension and spasms are lessened. Also, your chiropractor may suggest strengthening exercises and stretches to improve the joint complex and restore mobility.

Myofascial Release (MFR) is a technique that looks for trigger points or adhesions in the fascia around the muscle. The chiropractor will use palpation to discover these areas that are affected by TMJ disorder. Gentle pressure is then applied to these areas to lengthen the tightened fascia and relieve tension in the face.

Trigger Point Therapy (TPT) is a manual therapy that looks for myofascial trigger points. These trigger points can be linked to musculoskeletal pain from TMJ dysfunction, headaches/migraines, and radiating nerve pain in the neck and head. TPT applies light pressure via thumbs or fingertips to the localized hyperactivity. This can result in temporary stagnation and intense sharp/dull shooting pains that can be misdiagnosed as stiff neck.

Exercise and Stretching

Chiropractic care can help people with TMJ in a lot of ways. A chiropractor can examine joints & use manual manipulation to put them back in place. They can also show people how to take care of their TMJ properly. Exercises & stretching are two parts of chiropractic treatment that can reduce TMJ symptoms.

The temporomandibular joint is complex; it can become inflamed if the muscles are put under too much pressure. When this happens the joint can become misaligned. A chiropractor may provide exercises to reduce tension & help the joint move more easily.

Stretching exercises are also very useful for people with TMJ pain. This helps the jaw joint become more flexible & have a greater range of motion. Chiropratic treatment focuses on balancing muscles related to the jaw. This is done by providing special techniques to target muscles, which helps reduce restrictions & increase blood flow. Stretching helps relax muscles & reduce scar tissue, allowing for improved muscle strength & efficiency for daily activities like speaking & eating without any pain.


Chiropractic care can aid in managing and reducing TMJ symptoms. A study in Manual Therapy showed that patients treated with chiropractic care had noticeable relief from their symptoms. Though it’s not a cure-all, it has the potential to reduce pain and discomfort. Plus, it can improve jaw joint range of motion and reduce muscle spasms.

Therefore, chiropractic care might be useful for treating TMJ pain. It can be a vital part of a comprehensive treatment plan.

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for TMJ

Chiropractic care has many potential benefits for those with TMJ syndrome. It can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and address the cause. Treatment may involve manual manipulation or adjustment to the jaw and surrounding soft tissues. This gives the jaw stability and relieves pain.

Chiropractic care also helps improve posture and reduces tension in other parts of your body. Studies have shown dramatic improvements when combined with physical therapy or meditation. This natural approach avoids the risks of surgery or dental intervention. Thus, it is clear that chiropractic is a safe and effective alternative for TMJ disorder symptoms related to posture or prolonged muscle tensions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is chiropractic treatment for TMJ?

Chiropractic treatment for TMJ involves gentle adjustments to the jaw and neck to alleviate pressure and tension in the temporomandibular joint.

Is chiropractic treatment effective for TMJ?

Yes, chiropractic treatment can be very effective for TMJ, especially when combined with other therapies such as massage and exercise.

What causes TMJ?

TMJ can be caused by a variety of factors including stress, poor posture, tooth grinding, and injury to the jaw or neck.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

The symptoms of TMJ can include jaw pain, clicking or popping when opening or closing the mouth, headaches, earaches, and difficulty chewing or speaking.

How long does it take to see results from chiropractic treatment for TMJ?

The length of time it takes to see results from chiropractic treatment for TMJ depends on the severity of the condition and the individual’s response to treatment. Some patients may see improvement after just a few sessions, while others may require ongoing treatment.

Is chiropractic treatment safe for TMJ?

Yes, chiropractic treatment is generally safe for TMJ. Chiropractors are trained to perform gentle and non-invasive adjustments to the jaw and neck, which can help alleviate TMJ pain and discomfort without the need for surgery or medication.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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