Temporomandibular Joint Pain (TMJ pain)
Does it hurt when you chew or open your mouth wide to yawn? Do you have pain or soreness in the region of your jaw or ear, your cheek, teeth or temples? Do you find it difficult to open your mouth wide? Does your jaw ever feel stuck or locked as you open it?
If you answered “yes” to some of these questions, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. TMD is a group of conditions, often painful, that affect the jaw joint.
For most people, pain or discomfort in the jaw muscles or the TM joints is temporary, often occurs in cycles, and resolves once you stop moving the area. Some people with TM pain, however, can develop chronic symptoms. We can assess your Temporomandibular joint to establish whether your pain is due to TM joint dysfunction and are able to recommend a conservative treatment plan, if needed.
Primary Ear Pain may arise from problems within the ear itself and can include infectious processes, inflammatory processes, direct trauma, perforation of the tympanic membrane and problems with the Eustachian tube (a little tube inside the ear).
Secondary Ear Pain may arise from OTHER structures or body parts. Structures in the head which may refer pain to the ear include sinuses, teeth, the spine, jaw and throat. In some cases pain arising from a problem in these other areas will radiate out and away from the source of the pain towards the ear causing ear pain but when the ear is examined no reason for pain can be found.
Functional problems arising from within the Eustachian tube itself or from other structures may cause pain and abnormal sensations to the ear and can often be addressed with chiropractic adjustments. In many cases, when the ear pain is being caused by dysfunction in another structure close by and the structure is treated with chiropractic adjustments, the patient will report that their ear pain will resolve.
So, please remember if you have been experiencing persistent ear pain and have had other primary causes of ear pain ruled out by your family physician or ear specialist, consider chiropractic care as a possible form of therapy for addressing that stubborn ear pain!