TMJ Problems (Jaw Problems) and How A Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist/NeuroKineticTherapy Practitioner Handles the Problem

Temporomandibular Joint problems(TMJ) or jaw pain occur mainly as a result of an imbalance  with the joint and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull, which is immediately in front of the ear on each side of your head.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporomandibular_joint

The joints are flexible, allowing the jaw to move smoothly up and down and side to side and enabling you to talk, chew, and yawn. Muscles attached to and surrounding the jaw joint control the position and movement of the jaw.

http://education.yahoo.com/reference/gray/subjects/subject/109

What Causes TMJ Problems?

  • Receiving a heavy blow or whiplash
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth, which puts a lot of pressure on the TMJ
  • Dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket
  • Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ
  • Stress or Emotional Overload which can cause a person to tighten facial and jaw muscles or clench the teeth
  • Biting down on a hard and/or thick piece of food
  • Using jaw clenching to compensate for weak or inhibited muscles elsewhere

What Are the Symptoms of a TMJ Problem?

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
  • Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth or chewing
  • Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite
  • Swelling on the side of the face
  • May occur on one or both sides of the face

Other common symptoms of a TMJ problem can include digestive problems, toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).

Neurological influences of the temporomandibular joint

As a Applied Kinesiologist and Doctor Of Chiropractic, I look at the articulation of the joint itself and the pull of the muscles such as the Masseter, the Temporalis, the External Pterygoid and the Internal Pterygoid on the joint itself. Neck muscles, hyoid muscles  and upper back muscles also affect the TMJ. Are they in spasm? Are they weak?  Do they need muscle spindle or golgi tendon work?

As a NeuroKineticTherapy practitioner, I ask if some muscles are compensating (or overactive) for inhibited or weak muscles. “The jaw muscles can compensate for weakness in the grip, in the neck flexors, or in the hip flexors.” http://neurokinetictherapy.com/do-you-treat-causes-or-symptoms-part-three

What_is_the_TMJ_2

As the TMJ is part of the skull, the cranial bones are checked for alignment; esp the occipital bone at the back of the head.

https://drvittoriarepetto.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/cranial-sacral-therapy-in-applied-kinesiology/

Subluxations of the occipital also are involved with upper cervical (neck) problems and therefore cervical subluxations are adjusted

And since the examining acupuncture pts. on the head shows us that a number of meridians associated with digestion such as the stomach, small intestine and large intestines cross the TMJ can affect digestion (digestion can affect the TMJ), checking acupunture pts., the neuro-lymphatic and neuro-vascular points for digestive organs need to checked to see if there is any connection.

head acupunture pts

Once all the above are checked, then a very gentle adjustment of the joint itself can done.; a number of adjustments may be needed to break the subluxated pattern and get the Jaw joint moving freely and pain and noise free.

If you believe you have a TMJ problem, please give my office at call at 212-431-3724 for an appointment.

© 2013-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

© Revised – 2016 – Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

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The Art and Science of Muscle Testing in Applied Kinesiology

As some of you know, muscle testing is a basic in AK. When you test a muscle, you test not only the condition of the muscle itself, but the joint it crosses or moves, the spinal innervations of that muscle, the Chinese meridian (acupuncture energy line) associated w/ that muscle and the organ associated w/ that Chinese meridian and some cranial-sacral faults.

In order to derive this information, muscle testing must be done accurately. You must have a firm knowledge of anatomy (the science) and practice on hundreds of people before muscle testing becomes a skill (or an art); just like driving a car or cooking. Practice makes perfect!

This was hammered into my head the other month by a chiropractor who though she advertised that she did AK; it was obvious by her muscle testing that she did not have the knowledge or the skill.

First the muscle must be tested in the best position for that muscle to hold a contraction. If there is a weak muscle, patients have a natural tendency to recruit other muscles and they will shift their body position to gain an advantage.

Second it’s important that the doctor use the amount of strength appropriate for that patient If a patient has been sick for a long time or frail or a lot smaller then the doctor needs not to overpower the muscle being tested. The doctor needs to make sure the patient understands which way the doctor is pushing (or pulling) and the position in which the extremity needs to be held.

The test should not be done at such a fast rate that the patient never has a chance to develop their resistance vs. the direction of the muscle test. There is danger of muscle or tendon or joint injury if you try to overpower a muscle.

The doctor also needs to stabilize the patient and make sure that the stabilizing hand is not on a tender or painful area as this can cause the patient to let go during testing. Also the doctor needs to careful not to repeatedly test on a painful or pathological joint such as bursitis or a rotator cuff tear. The doctor should take the joint through a full range of motion before testing.

Many of the chiropractic colleges teach Applied Kinesiology as a class however that is not sufficient to master the art and science of muscle testing.

One of best ways to know that the chiropractor you are seeing has been trained properly and is committed to the practice of AK  is to see if they have been certified by the founding organization of Applied Kinesiology which is the International College of Applied Kinesiology (www.icak.com & www.icakusa.com ).

The organization authorizes an 100 hour certification courses to licensed doctors (chiropractors, medical doctors, dentists, osteopaths) w/ rigorous practice of technique and knowledge of muscle anatomy and physiology . Doctors then must pass  a written test abd ICAK issues a certificate of completeness /diploma to those doctors.

Dr. Walter Schmitt describes the effectiveness of applied kinesiology and how using manual muscle testing can be an effective tool for understanding the human body through the nervous system.

http://www.joinicakusa.com/using-manual-muscle-testing-as-a-tool-for-understanding-the-human-body/

 

© 2010-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

Want more information on Dr. Vittoria Repetto and her NYC Applied Kinesiology/Chiropractic/ NKT practice at 230 W 13th St., NYC 10011; please go to www.drvittoriarepetto.com

And please check out the Patient Testimonials page on my web site.

 Want to be in the know on holistic information and postings? 

https://www.facebook.com/wvillagechiropracticappliedkinesiologynkt/