Dry needling, as we’ve covered before, is the practice of inserting small, solid needles into knotted and damaged muscles in order to promote blood, inflammation and healing to the damaged muscle and surrounding areas.
Dry needling, although scary to think,
is a very effective treatment
against TMJ Disorder.
The three muscles that become knotted and damaged during TMJ disorder are the masseter, lateral pterygoid. and medial pterygoid muslces. These muscles are located around the area where the jaw meets the skull. They can become contracted and can put pressure on the TMJ joint and cause severe pain, headaches, dizziness and pain going down to the neck and shoulders.
Many people believe that TMJ Disorder only occurs because of the two bones rubbing against one another at the TMJ joint.
However, just like any bone in the body, muscles are attached and call the shots as to where these bones are going. If these muscles are tight, they will press onto the bones and nerves and create tightness on the jaw and TMJ. Since these muscles are generally hard to get to and somewhat awkward to massage and work on, dry needling is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to loosen and decompress the muscle, due to the local twitch response it causes. Coupling dry needling with soft tissue massage, strengthening exercises, and laser therapy, can help sufferers of TMJ find relief!
If you know of someone that suffers from TMJ, share this with them and have them give us a call! We want to make them better!