Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly typical condition reported by people after a car accident, and it can be hard for some physicians to diagnose the source of the problem. Complicating the matter, oftentimes you won't develop TMJ pain until many weeks or months after the incident.
Dr. Helton has helped many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific literature explains what causes these types of symptoms. During a crash, the tissues in your spine are frequently stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve injury. This can obviously 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 example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or pins and needles in the arm or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured tissues, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a wreck are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Helton sees this very commonly in our Portland office.
Research indicates that the source of many jaw or TMJ problems starts in the cervical spine and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Helton will work to return your spinal column back to health, alleviating the inflammation, treating the injured areas, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Helton has found that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy condition.
If you reside in Portland and you've been injured in a car crash, Dr. Helton can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 2005, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (503) 771-1974 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.