Among the most common, irritating and difficult to diagnose problems with head and neck pain are Temporal Mandibular Joint more commonly known as “TMJ” problems. The joint is located near the ear where the top of the mandible or lower jaw meets the upper jaw at the base of the skull. The pain associated with these joints is often referred to as
Like all other joints in the body, the TMJ is subject to inflammation and other chronic joint problems. Many of these issues may be caused by destructive bite habits like clenching or teeth grinding. These actions (even when you do them unintentionally) cause pressure on the joint that can lead to inflammation and general breakdown of the joint itself.
Diagnosing TMJ Issues
What makes TMJ problems difficult to diagnose and treat properly is the fact that the symptoms vary widely in both location and severity. Symptoms can range from a slight clicking in the jaw with no pain to severe head and neck pain which is not relieved by medication.
Once diagnosed properly treatments include everything from simple placement of a nightguard, which prevents pressure on the joint to surgical intervention in more severe cases.