Could TMJ Be Causing My Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain?
If you are having chronic neck and shoulder pain, and are still unable to find the reason for your pain, then temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain may be the cause. Often patients who may have TMJ pain have seen multiple doctors and therapists searching for the cause of their chronic neck and shoulder pain. Poor posture, cervical disc problems, or muscle tension, disease, or tears are often suggested diagnoses, but are unable to be proven by tests and scans. If these sound like the symptoms and problems you are experiencing, then you may have TMJ pain.
At this point you are probably wondering what a TMJ is and how it translates into your neck and shoulder pain. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw, or mandible, to the side of the skull, right in front of the ear. If the temporomandibular joint is injured it responds like most other joints in the body, becoming inflamed and swollen. Since there are so many nerves located around the TMJ, when inflammation or swelling occurs it affects systems throughout the body. Every time you chew, talk, or swallow the TMJ is used, making it one of the most used joints in the body. Being so highly used and around so many nerves, it is no surprise that everyday activities can cause such severe systemic pain. Often pain and symptoms related to the TMJ are located away from the TMJ, making it more difficult to diagnose.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJD, transcends the boundaries of both dentistry and medicine, often making it difficult to diagnose. Therefore many patients affected by TMJ pain have trouble getting an accurate diagnosis. Patients with chronic neck and shoulder pain have been known to seek outlandish treatments, only to find themselves at the mercy of a "snake oil salesman." We know the chronic shoulder and neck pain and discomfort TMJ pain patients are constantly in, and that is why we have developed a proven device and treatment for TMJ pain, the Aqualizer.
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