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Chiropractic Care and TMJ Difficulties

In the January 2002 edition of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT) appeared a case study on a 41-year-old woman who wanted chiropractic care, having problems with pain relating to TMJ on both sides, ear pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo, diminished hearing ability, and a feeling of pressure or fullness in each ear. She additionally noted that motions of her jaw while speaking or chewing triggered pain.

Prior to seeking chiropractic care, she was treated for her TMJ by two medical doctors. She was also referred to an eye, ear, nose, and throat physician, who clinically diagnosed her with TMJ syndrome. Also, she was referred to a dentist for the problem. Medical suggestions were to try heat to the area, decrease speaking and yelling, and change her diet plan to a soft diet. Despite all this medical and dental care, her symptoms continued to get worse.

Ultimately she wanted the care of a chiropractor. After an examination, it was decided by the chiropractor that the individual had an Atlas subluxation, (first bone in the neck). Treatment was started by a series of adjustments. After only a couple of visits the patient documented substantial improvement in her symptoms. After two and a half months, she claimed total relief from the TMJ symptoms. She also reported a reduction in the frequency and severity of her headaches. Before starting chiropractic care, she was suffering from 1 to 2 migraine headaches each month. The effects of the chiropractic care were long term as shown at her 1-year follow-up where she had not experienced any headache symptoms for a period of 9 months and her TMJ complaints had completely resolved.

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