Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly common problem reported by people after a auto accident, and it can be confusing for some physicians to diagnose the cause of the issue. Complicating the matter, oftentimes you won't experience TMJ pain until many weeks or months after the original injury.
Dr. Scharf has treated many men and women with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific research explains what triggers these types of problems. During a auto collision, the tissues in your spine are commonly 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 issues in other parts of your body.
For example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or pins and needles in the arm or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured area, like your head and jaw. Headaches after auto collision are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Scharf sees this very commonly in our Parkland office.
Research shows that the source of many jaw or TMJ symptoms originates in the cervical spine and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The trick to resolving these symptoms is simple: Dr. Scharf will work to return your spinal column back to health, alleviating the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured areas, and lessening the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Scharf finds that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy state.
If you reside in Parkland and you've been hurt in a car crash, Dr. Scharf 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 (954) 227-0088 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.