The Jaw can be responsible for Neck Pain and Headaches

As a Chiropractor I need 50 CEU’s each year to maintain my license, so in the middle of February 2013, I attended a weekend seminar about the Jaw Joint. The instructor, Dr. Brett A. Winchester, discussed that if anyone has neck pain or headaches to always work with the jaw as over 50% of the time it is involved. Other indicators of jaw dysfunction, often called TMJ and or TMD, include: popping, grinding, jaw pain, fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, swimmers ear, ear aches, scoliosis, any kind of fall, car accident, head injury, sport injury, birth trauma, anyone who sleeps on their stomach, if they have ever worn braces, chew lots of gum and other factors.

Dr. Winchester discussed ways to retrain people to stop clenching and ways to work directly on the patient’s jaw joint. He found that working twice a week for three weeks on the jaw has a profound affect on his patients that have neck pain, headaches and the other symptoms associated with TMJ and TMD.

I have always been fascinated by the effect that grinding and clenching have mainly because my mother said she used to hear me grind my teeth as a very young girl. My grinding was so loud it could be heard from another room so my mom would come into my room and put her hand on me; which stopped the grinding. I never needed braces yet the effects of the grinding created some very painful cracked teeth and occasional headaches. Thankfully I did find help and feel much better now.

When I attended Chiropractic College I chose to investigate the jaw and did a lot of reading about how any tension and dysfunction in that joint could affect the neck, shoulders, back, hips, even the feet and toes. In my first years of practice I was at a seminar and the chiropractor that was lecturing instilled upon us how important the jaw joint is. The experience that made this evident to him was with a patient who had a few knee surgeries yet still was suffering from constant knee pain. Because the surgeries did not help she came to him to see if he could help reduce her pain. He initially worked directly on the knee, then of course as a chiropractor he also worked on the spine, feet, hips and neck yet none of that helped. It was when he worked on her jaw that she noticed immediate improvement.

I found that to be quite fascinating so made sure to incorporate working with the jaw in both kids and adults. With the information from the latest seminar, I feel excited to have even more effective ways to help people.

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2 Responses

  1. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog
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    • Thanks Angie for your comment. I truly appreciate it.

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