Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is clinically characterised by pain of the muscles surrounding the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Pain is characterised by localised hypersensitive spots in palpable taut
muscle fibres (myofascial trigger points).
Clinically, patients complain of tenderness, headaches, restricted movement of the jaws, muscle stiffness, and weakness. Research of traditional Chinese medicine revealed that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders and muscle pain. Acupuncture directly stimulates the release of endorphins and neurotransmitters, among other biological actions. These are naturally occurring substances that help reduce and block pain perception by the brain.
TMD is often due to underlying stress held in the contracted muscles of the jaw and face. Acupuncture can assist in relaxing these targeted muscles and alleviate stress levels in the body to relieve the discomfort of TMD.
In the longterm TMD can be managed with lifestyle changes. Dietary changes may be necessary to address any underlying health issues that may be identified during your consultation. Teeth grinding during sleep or clenching of the jaw can be an issue with TMD. Often a mouthguard from your dentist can help prevent these actions during sleep. Overall, acupuncture offers effective treatment in the management of TMD. It is a simple and safe additional technique in the management of TMD.
We are all unique and experience pain in different ways. If you are living with the discomfort of TMD get in touch for a free telephone consultation to see if acupuncture can help relieve your symptoms. Drop me a message or email to arrange that call, I am here to help.