TMJ syndrome is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, the structure that connects your jaw to the side of your skull. Also known as TMD or TMJ, the condition can cause pain to radiate throughout your face, jaw, and neck. Often aggravated by chewing or yawning, TMJ syndrome can also trigger jaw stiffness or painful clicking in the jaw. In some cases, TMJ syndrome even alters the way your upper and lower teeth fit together.
TMJ syndrome is typically caused by teeth grinding, stress, and behavioral factors like excessive gum chewing. Arthritis and trauma to the jaw can also result in TMJ syndrome.
Along with jaw soreness, stiffness, and clicking or popping, TMJ symptoms include ear and neck pain, headaches, and difficulty in opening the mouth completely.
Natural Treatments for TMJ:
By inserting thin needles into specific points on your body, practitioners of acupuncture strive to stimulate the flow of energy throughout your system. Research shows that the the acupuncture treatment may promote the release of endorphins, which are brain chemicals known to ease pain. A herbal medicine treatment can relieving the pain and reducing the inflammation.
For treatment of TMJ syndrome, acupuncturists may insert needles around the ear and the jaw, as well as near the elbows, knees, big toe, and other areas. While the number of acupuncture sessions necessary to treat TMJ may vary from patient to patient (depending on factors such as symptom intensity), the results may be remarkably long-lasting. In one Swedish study published in 2008, for instance, scientists found that the majority of TMJ patients who had received acupuncture 18 to 20 years earlier experienced an enduring improvement of their symptoms.