The TMJ moves due to the contraction of the masseter, temporalis and pterygoid muscles. Their tone is controlled by the brain-stem housed by the ATLAS.
TMJ is highly correlated to upper cervical spine injury. The muscles of mastication are controlled by the fifth cranial nerve. This nuclei is the seat of control for many things in the face. Once of its branches regulates muscle tone associated with chewing. When there is interference to the trigeminal nuclei abnormal muscle tone in the jaw muscles can result. Upper cervical (upper neck) injuries such as car accidents, sports injuries, and falls can cause the top vertebrae in the neck, called the atlas, to lock out of its normal position. This misalignment causes irritation to the brain-stem and trigeminal nuclei. When this occurs the muscles of mastication become asymmetric in tone which can pre dispose someone to develop TMJ symptoms. In the following Dr. Drew Hall, Los Angeles Upper Cervical Chiropractor explains in detail how the ATLAS (C-1) can affect the TMJ . Listen below.
What is the Goal of Blair Upper Cervical Care? Los Angeles Neck Chiropractor
The goal of Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic is to correct atlas(c-1) and axis(c-2) misalignments. Upper cervical doctors run objective neurological test to determine whether or not a person has an upper neck misalignment. Once located precise x-rays are taken to determine direction of the misalignment and the angle of the joints that are involved. This information is then used to make precise correction to restore motion and normal nervous system function.Once corrected the patient is monitored over time to make sure they are maintaining the correction. If the correction has misaligned again another correction is made. If the tests indicate it is in alignment no correction is made on that visit. While the correction is maintained is when healing accrues.
“Upper Cervical practitioners hypothesize based on their success in addressing TMJ that the misalignment of the atlas is blocking communication to various parts of the body and thereby affecting the body’s own ability to correct the problem. “
We hope that his blog has been helpful and informative and leads those who suffer in the direction of healing!
The Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Technique is a specific system of analyzing and adjusting the upper cervical vertebrae of the spinal column. These vertebrae can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the brainstem and spinal cord as they exit through the floor of the skull into the neural canal.
How Chiropractic Treatment Can Help Relieve TMJ Pain