Temporomandibular disorders consist of a group of pathologies affecting the masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint, and related structures .
Diagnosis of temporomandibular disorders is derived from the patient’s history and physical exam with no indicators of potentially serious pathology [19,20]. Chiropractors are trained to take a comprehensive health history and perform a through physical examination and refer if required for scans or to an appropriate health practitioner.
Evidence based summary for manual therapy
There is inconclusive evidence in a favorable direction regarding mobilisation and massage for temporomandibular dysfunction .
The holistic approach that chiropractors take, means they also may claim to treat general aches and pains including those originating from joint and muscle spasms.
Other effective non-invasive physical treatments or patient education
Back-in-Action clinical comment
Severe TMJ problems such as damage to the internal soft tissues can require medical managment such as surgery. Other problems may be related to chronic bite abnormalities and benefit from dental management.
Chiropractors may be able to help jaw problems assoicated with tight joints and muscles and and their underlying causes. Chiropractors approach jaw pain using a package of care that may include manual therapies (mobilisation, massage, chiropractic spinal manipulation), cranial work, muscle release techniques, ergonomic advice, relaxation advice, postural advice, acupuncture, breathing techniques, neck exercises, jaw exercises, nutritional therapy and onward referral where indicated.
There is research evidence to support the holistic chiropractic approach to care [22,23,24].
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