(Health Secrets) Disorders of the jaw can produce great pain. If you are experiencing jaw pain, it’s good to know there are several different kinds of chiropractic techniques, theories and philosophies, some of which work well to alleviate disorders of the jaw. Major Bertrand DeJarnette originated the Sacro-Occipital Technique (SOT), a view point on chiropractic that is gathering support. DeJarnette, a chiropractor, osteopath, and engineer developed this technique in the 1920’s. His study created a system of adjusting patterns in the body: the most significant pattern was the relationship between the sacrum and occiput, which is at the base of the skull.
The SOT chiropractor uses indicators across body systems to diagnose and treat the causes of pain. In the case of temporomandibular joint pain, which can result in a diagnosis of temporomandibular disorder (TMD), muscle tension in the sacrum may be initiating the muscle tension in connective tissue fibers at the base of the skull. The SOT chiropractor is trained in adjusting the bones and trigger points of the skull from inside the mouth. (Trigger points are sensitive areas of the body that when stimulated or irritated cause a specific effect, especially a tender area in a muscle that causes generalized musculoskeletal pain when over-stimulated.)
Suggestions to Help TMD Symptoms
• Avoid overuse of jaw muscles. Eat soft foods, cut food into small pieces, stay away from sticky or chewy food, and avoid chewing gum.
• Try stretching and massage. A doctor, dentist or physical therapist can recommend stretching and strengthening exercise, and demonstrate to you how to massage the muscles yourself. (Good techniques can also be found on the internet)
• Alternate heat or cold packs. Applying warm, moist heat (to increase blood circulation) or ice (to diminish inflammation) to the side of your face may help alleviate pain.
• Relaxation techniques. Consciously slowing your breathing and taking deep, regular breaths can help relax tense muscles, which can reduce pain.
• Acupuncture. Requires a specialist trained in acupuncture.
• Biofeedback. Requires a specialist, therapist, or psychologist trained in electronic devices, or techniques that monitor muscle tension to help you practice effective relaxation techniques.
• Cognitive behavioral therapy. To help manage stress or anxiety, a psychotherapist can help change bad behaviors, manage stress and anxiety, and teach relaxation techniques.
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