Treatment for TMJ Disorders in Knoxville

Treatment for TMJ Disorders in Knoxville

Chiropractor Knoxville TN TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular joint pain often referred to as TMJ can be very debilitating and severely affect quality of life. The temporomandibular joint comprises of the mandible or jaw bone connecting to the temporal bone of the skull. This joint acts like a hinge allowing the gentle sliding of the jaw allowing for opening and closing the mouth for chewing and speaking. This joint consists of a disc that cushions the joint like most other joints in the body. TMJ disorders in Knoxville arise due to injury or overuse leading to malalignment of the TMJ disc, inflammation and pain in the joint, and tightening and tendonitis of the surrounding muscles.

Treatment of TMJ Disorders in Knoxville

Common signs of TMJ disorders include chronic jaw pain or excessive popping with opening or closing the mouth. This is most commonly noticed while eating. Also acute TMJ disorders can cause total lack of ability to open or close the mouth. The inability to move the jaw without pain can obviously then lead to problems in getting adequate nutrition when it is too painful to eat.

TMJ treatment should consist of three important goals:

  1. Reduce general joint inflammation- Acute TMJ disorders are painful due to inflammation in the joint area. Natural anti-inflammatory supplements are a good protocol to reduce inflammation while avoiding harmful side effects of NSAIDs. Curcumin is a great anti-inflammatory which is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric. This supplement is very effective when following dosage recommendations. Look for a curcumin supplement that pairs with black pepper, as that leads to higher bioavailability of the curcumin.
  2. Restore jaw range of motion- This requires moving the jaw against resistance until normal range of motion is restored.
  3. Reducing accompanying muscle tightness- The temporalis, masseter, and frontalis facial muscles become extremely tight during acute TMJ to stabilize the unstable jaw joint. Our goal here is to relax these muscles to restore normal function of the jaw.

The TMJ disc can misalign with the jaw in either an open or closed position. When the disc moves out of position with the TMJ in an open position this makes closing the mouth very difficult and in a closed position opening is painful and difficult. Pain may be present on both TMJ sides but usually one side will be more painful and restricted. The worse side should be addressed first.

The treatment protocol is similar for trouble with closing or opening the mouth.

For instance, if you have one sided jaw pain and cannot close the mouth fully use this protocol. Start by trying to close the mouth as much as you can comfortably this may require fighting through a little pain but no damage will occur to the jaw. While attempting to close the mouth massage the muscles aggressively on the effected side directly over the TMJ and throughout the effected side temporalis muscle. Continue this procedure for 10-20 seconds. After this time, stop and rest for 10-20 seconds. Continue the same procedure 3-4 times with jaw movement and massage for 10-20 seconds followed by 10-20 second rest. You will notice the range of motion increases with every consecutive time doing the procedure. Some pain may persist for some time, continue doing anti-inflammatory protocol but range of motion and ability to talk and eat will be restored. This procedure can be repeated 3 times daily with 4-6 hour breaks in between.

If the problem is one sided jaw pain with inability to open the mouth, this procedure would be the same, except instead of forcing to close the mouth the mouth would be increasingly forced open.

The staff at Rocky Top Chiropractic is thoroughly trained in helping patients with TMJ disorders and can get them out of pain and functioning in no time.

For more information about this procedure and others call the office at 865-444-5994 or schedule your appointment today at

8:30am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 6:30pm

3:00pm - 6:30pm

8:30am - 12:00pm
3:00pm - 6:30pm

3:00pm - 6:30pm

8:30am - 12:00pm

Saturday & Sunday

Rocky Top Chiropractic

5908 Toole Drive NW Suite EF
Knoxville, TN 37919

(865) 444-5994