TMJ (Jaw) Pain After Auto Accidents
Jaw or temporomandibular joint pain is common after an auto injury, even when there is no direct injury to the face. The problem can be bewildering to health care providers, as, in many cases, the jaw problems don't develop right away after the incident, often developing weeks or even months later.
New research over the last 10 years suggests that jaw discomfort after a car wreck actually originates in the spine.
When your spine is damaged during a wreck, the pain signals travel from the spinal column to your brainstem. Here, nerves from many different regions of the body converge together before they travel to the pain centers of your brain.
When these nerves meet, the signals can get mixed up and crossed. It's much like the arm pain experienced by someone having a heart attack. The nerve signals from the heart cross with the nerve signals of the arm, and the person feels the discomfort in the arm instead of the actual source.
The nerves of your jaw connect in the neck with pain receptors from your spine. When chronic pain impulses from your injury overstimulate the nerve junctions, you can experience pain in other parts of your head, including your jaw.
And since the jaw is experiencing discomfort, it can cause the muscles in the face to tense up, causing more pain.
Chiropractic adjustments help by helping your body repair the original injury in the neck, which then helps pain in other areas of your body.
If you've been in a car wreck, Dr. Armstrong is here to help. We can help pinpoint the underlying source of your pain and formulate a treatment plan to help you reclaim your health. We've helped many patients in Sacramento, CA heal from these sorts of problems since 1990 and we might be able to help you!
Call our office today at (916) 483-8441 for a consultation or for more information.