Jaw pain is a fairly common problem reported by many people after a car accident, and it can be difficult for some physicians to find the cause of the issue. Complicating the matter, oftentimes you won't experience TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after the accident.
Dr. Messerschmidt has helped many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the medical literature explains what causes these types of symptoms. During a auto accident, the tissues in your spine are frequently stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can clearly cause pain in the neck and back, but since your central nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause problems in other parts of your body.
For example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause prickling or pins and needles in the arm and hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured tissues, like your head and jaw. Headaches after auto injury are very common because of neck injury, and the jaw works the same way. Dr. Messerschmidt sees this very commonly in our Juneau office.
Research shows that the root of many jaw or TMJ problems begins in the cervical spine and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The trick to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Messerschmidt will work to restore your spinal column back to health, alleviating the inflammation, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Messerschmidt has found that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy state.
If you live in Juneau and you've been injured in a car crash, Dr. Messerschmidt can help. We've been treating auto injury patients for many years and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for an appointment or consultation.
Ciancaglini R, Testa M, Radaelli G. Association of neck pain with symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in the general adult population. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 1999;31:17-22.
Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, Pribicevic M, Robb A, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a system review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013;36(3):143-201.