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Anxiety and TMJ Disorder

Anxiety and TMJ Disorder - El Paso Chiropractor
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TMJ is a well-known abbreviation for, Temporomandibular joint disorder, a disorder that targets the joint found between the back of the jaw and the skull, the temporomandibular joint. According to Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, TMJ affects more than 10 million Americans. This disorder causes a variety of symptoms however, this disorder can mainly be associated to cause anxiety.

Anxiety is a progressive condition that may progress throughout an individual’s life according to the experiences they face or as a direct result of genetics. Apart from these factors, anxiety may develop through other factors including Temporomandibular joint disorder. This condition can be difficult to experience on its own and its associated symptoms, along with anxiety, can challenge any person’s lifestyle.

However, TMJ doesn’t always cause anxiety, but it can worsen anxiety if it was already present.

TMJ and its Symptoms

Symptoms for temporomandibular joint disorder include several types of pain, from jaw pain to face pain and headaches. Long-term symptoms of pain can often lead to anxiety due to how each individual's body uniquely responds to the stress of frequent pain. Furthermore, because there are numerous nerves and blood vessels that travel through the back of the jaw, TMJ can cause damage resulting in numbness and dizziness, adding additional stress to the body. Tinnitus, a ringing in the ear that the majority of people can tune out, may appear unusually loud to someone with TMJ, enough so that the ringing disrupts sleep and causes distractions.

Studies also suggest that in turn, first experiencing anxiety can also cause the development of Temporomandibular joint disorder, which may cause the development of even more anxiety. Many people with this condition experience significant clenching of the jaw, especially during sleep, and its possible that this may lead to an increase in TMJ symptoms.

Anxiety and TMJ Disorder - El Paso Chiropractor
Physical therapy massage for treating TMJ

The symptoms for temporomandibular joint disorder can be alleviated and treated through a series of specialized soft tissue physical therapy massages, specifically designed for TMJ pain and dysfunction. The massages focus on relieving trigger point tension on the medial and lateral pterygoid muscles in the jaw, as well as the two palatani muscles. By massaging these set of muscles, the symptoms associated with TMJ may gradually decrease, also possibly improving levels of anxiety.  

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN* email: phone: 915-850-0900 Licensed in: Texas & New Mexico*