Jaw pain is a fairly typical problem reported by many people after a car crash, and it can be confusing for some health practitioners to find the cause of the problem. Complicating the issue, very often you won't develop TMJ pain until many weeks or months after the original injury.
Dr. Ernst has treated many men and women with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific literature explains what produces these types of symptoms. During a collision, the tissues in your spine are often stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your central nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause problems in other parts of your body.
For example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or pins and needles in the arm and hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injury, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a wreck are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Ernst sees this very often in our Arlington office.
Research shows that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms begins in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The trick to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Ernst will work to return your spinal column back to health, decreasing the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Ernst has found that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we return your spine to its healthy state.
If you reside in Arlington and you've been injured in a car crash, Dr. Ernst can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 1990, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (360) 659-8464 for an appointment or consultation.
Ciancaglini R, Testa M, Radaelli G. Association of neck pain with symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in the general adult population. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 1999;31:17-22.
Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, Pribicevic M, Robb A, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a system review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013;36(3):143-201.