Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly common condition experienced by people after a car wreck, and it can be tough for some physicians to find the root of the problem. Complicating the matter, many times you won't develop TMJ pain until many weeks or months after the accident.
Dr. Mulholland has treated many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific literature explains what produces these types of problems. During a crash, the tissues in your neck are frequently stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve injury. This can clearly cause pain in the neck and back, but since your nervous system is one functioning unit, inflammation of the nerves can cause issues in other parts of your body.
For instance, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause prickling or pins and needles in the arm or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured area, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a collision are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Mulholland sees this very commonly in our Anchorage office.
Research shows that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to resolving these symptoms is simple: Dr. Mulholland will work to restore your spinal column back to health, relieving the inflammation, treating the injured tissues, and eliminating the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Mulholland finds that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy condition.
If you reside in Anchorage and you've been hurt in a car crash, Dr. Mulholland can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 1982, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (907) 770-5700 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.