When you visit a professional chiropractor to get TMJ treatment, you will typically have the treatment focused on three key muscles. For one, the chiropractor will focus on the masseter. Next, there will be treatment focused on the temporalis, and then there will be treatment focused on the pterygoid. Along with these muscles, additional attention will be paid to some of the other suboccipital muscles that impact how the jaw joint works. Finally, everything needs to be properly aligned for better and more optimal movement.
It’s more challenging to do soft tissue work on your pterygoid muscle. This can be increasingly difficult to do independently, so you’ll want to visit a professional chiropractor for help. To help this muscle, you’ll need some leverage positioned against the cheek and between your cheek and teeth. It’s usually deemed the most uncomfortable to work on when it comes to TMJ because it could be more structured and strong.
Once a chiropractor has performed the requisite soft tissue work to alleviate some of the jaw pain you are experiencing, you will typically assess your jaw to determine whether there is room for a TMJ chiropractic adjustment. First, we will evaluate your jaw to see what joint opens first and where instability occurs. You will then have the stuck side adjusted to see whether or not it fixes the alignment. If not, more adjustments will be needed. If necessary, TMJ treatment can also be combined with other things like dry needling if your jaw isn’t loosening enough or laser treatment to expedite tissue healing.