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3 Causes of TMJ Syndrome

TMJ, Jaw Pain, Facial Pain, Jaw Ache, Mouth Pain, Cheek Pain, TMJ Relief, TMJ TreatmentDoes your TMJ pain interfere with your daily life? Painful chewing, clicking, and muscle strain headaches are all common complaints of those with TMJ syndrome. Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) has 3 components – your jaw bone, temporal bone, and an articular disk. Uyanik et al. described 3 causes of TMJ pain:

  1. Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome – where increased muscle spasm and tension results in TMJ problems
  2. Internal derangement – where there is a mechanical issue within the joint itself, most likely with the location of the articulating disk
  3. Degenerative joint disease – after long-term TMJ misalignment, when arthritic changes take effect within the joint

Traditional management of TMJ syndrome includes ice, NSAIDs, wearing a splint, and/or surgery. These solutions are mainly aimed at treating symptoms. Here at Natural Way Chiropractic, we are dedicated to finding a potential cause of your TMJ and treating it without the use of drugs or surgery.


To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and TMJ download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.

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How Is My Spine Related to My TMJ Pain?

Your spine is designed to protect your spinal cord. Your spinal cord is responsible for sending messages to and from your brain. The proper function of your spinal cord is integral to your health. When the top bone in your spine (atlas) misaligns, this creates pressure within your spinal cord. This pressure causes the messages going to and from your brain to be distorted. This may lead to increased muscle tension, pain in the head or face, and other TMJ symptoms.

Here at Natural Way Chiropractic, we focus on upper cervical chiropractic – a specific technique designed to locate and correct atlas misalignments. Upper cervical chiropractic involves a very gentle and specific atlas correction. Through realigning the atlas, the pressure in the spinal cord is reduced, allowing proper messages to be sent to and from the brain. This may lead to a reduction in TMJ symptoms.

A study conducted by Houle et al. examined a 35-year-old male complaining of TMJ pain and difficulty opening the jaw. After an upper cervical correction, he was able to open his jaw, and his facial muscle tenderness disappeared.


1. Tsai V. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome: Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology [Internet]. 2015 [cited 11 April 2016]. Available from:

2. Uyanik JM, Murphy E. Evaluation and management of TMDs, Part 1. History, epidemiology, classification, anatomy, and patient evaluation. Dent Today. 2003 Oct. 22(10):140-5.3. Tsai V. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome: Background, Pathophysiology, Epidemiology [Internet]. 2016 [cited 11 April 2016]. Available from:

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