Jaw pain is a fairly typical problem experienced by people after a car accident, and it can be confusing for some doctors to diagnose the source of the problem. Complicating the matter, very often you won't experience TMJ pain until many weeks or months after the incident.
Dr. Harrison has treated many men and women with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific literature explains what triggers these types of symptoms. During a car crash, the tissues in your neck are frequently stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your nervous system is one functioning unit, inflammation of the nerves can cause issues in other parts of your body.
For instance, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause prickling or pins and needles in the arm or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injury, like your head and jaw. Headaches after car crash are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Harrison sees this very frequently in our Decatur office.
Research shows that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms begins in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Harrison will work to restore your spine back to health, decreasing the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured tissues, and lessening the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Harrison finds that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy state.
If you live in Decatur and you've been injured in a crash, Dr. Harrison can help. We've been working with auto injury patients for many years and we can most likely help you, too. Give our office a call today at (404) 325-2856 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.