Can you use Acupuncture for TMJ? Yes and it comes with a few benefits over other treatments. Acupuncture is drug-free, no or minor side-effects and assists the body to naturally solve this painful problem.
TMJ disorders — or TMD — can cause pain in your jaw joint and in the muscles that control jaw movement. It can also cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain and your jaw can get locked in the open or closed position.
The exact cause of your TMJ disorder may be difficult to determine. It may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis, injury and possibly clenching.
In most cases, the pain associated with TMJ disorders is temporary and can be relieved with self-managed care or noninvasive treatments such as acupuncture. Surgery is typically a last resort after more conservative measures have failed.
Using Trigger Point and Electro Acupuncture Medicine to treat TMJ
A trigger point is an unnaturally tight muscle causing pain which can be distant from the trigger point.
Trigger Point acupuncture is a specific style of acupuncture that only a small percentage of acupuncturists performs. Using trigger point acupuncture, your acupuncturist treats your jaw and neck muscles. This relaxes muscle tension and decreases inflammation which eliminates the clenching and pain of TMJ disorder.
Electro-acupuncture is a modern combination of electric stimulation coupled with acupuncture to decrease inflammation in the joint and tightness in the muscles.
An experienced, licensed acupuncturist palpates your jaw and neck muscles to locate trigger points and tightness. Depending on findings, you will be treated with trigger point or electro-acupuncture and often both.
Trigger Point Acupuncture for TMJ
Once the offending muscle is determined, the acupuncturist carefully manipulate hair-thin acupuncture needles to release the trigger points. You feel twitching or aching while the trigger point is released. You may experience some muscle soreness after the treatment along with relief from your pain. It’s an extremely safe procedure and the main risks are muscle soreness and occasional bruising.
It’s like the needle tip pushes a reset button on the muscle, causing it to jump in response. By causing this jump for a short period, the acupuncturist can undo muscle knots. Relieving the tension also allows more blood to flow into the area. The increased blood flow also washes away built up waste. These changes help reduce or eliminate your pain.
Electro Acupuncture for TMJ
Needles are placed in specific acupuncture points related to your pain pattern. The electric stimulation is attached and appropriate settings are made to produce the desired effect for 5-20 minutes. You will feel tingling, tapping or twitching. This treatment creates physiological effects in the related nerves, muscles and blood circulation prodding the body to heal.