Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly common condition experienced by many people after a car wreck, and it can be challenging for some physicians to identify the cause of the problem. Complicating the issue, very often you won't develop TMJ pain until many weeks or months after a crash.
Dr. Ernst has helped many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the medical research explains what triggers these types of symptoms. During a collision, the tissues in your spine are frequently stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can clearly cause pain in the neck and back, but since your nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause issues 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 injured tissues, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a wreck are very common because of neck injury, and the jaw works the same way. Dr. Ernst sees this very frequently in our Arlington, WA office.
Research shows that the source of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Ernst will work to return your spine back to health, reducing the inflammation, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Ernst finds that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy state.
If you reside in Arlington, WA and you've been hurt in a 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.
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.