Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) – the importance to have it balanced
17 August 2017
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. It is capable of a greater range of movement than any other joint. The motor cortex controls every movement we make, the TMJ occupies 50% of the motor cortex, i.e. 50% for the brain’s messages filter through this area. TMJ imbalances directly affect cranial, neck function, and have a significant impact on how you hold the rest of your body.
If this joint is injured or damaged, it can lead to a localized pain disorder called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a common condition that many people report experiencing, but may not realize it. It can manifest as difficulty chewing, clicking jaw, headaches and migraines, grinding teeth, hip pain neck pain and almost anything of structural nature.
A variety of factors can create jaw pain and TMJ issues; some causes include muscular imbalances in the head and neck, malocclusion (irregular contact of the upper and lower teeth), grinding or clenching the teeth.
Trauma to the body such as whiplash, concussion, falls, or sports injuries often have restrictions in the craniosacral mechanism. If a person has had dental work which requires holding the mouth open for extended period of time, the pterygoids (jaw opening muscles) may have gone into spasm.
Emotional and/or stress, as well as nutritional factors may be involved in an imbalanced TMJ.
When an imbalance of TMJ function is found, Kinesiology offers techniques that correct the balancing the jaw’s muscular activity. Treatment includes the temporalis, buccinators, masseter and pterygoid muscles. These muscles work together to encourage smooth jaw operation, whether it is for yawning, chewing, or conversation.
Evaluating the TMJ is part of my protocol in most of the cases; particularly if the person has seen a dentist recently and had the mouth open for an extensive period of time. Balancing a TMJ during a session has amazing and beneficial impact on the body and the client normally notice the benefit almost immediately.