Acupuncture for TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorders, is an increasingly common therapy with some effectiveness at resolving symptoms such as tight jaw, tight neck, Bell’s Palsy facial paralysis, and facial deviation.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is a sort of umbrella term used to identify any pain, discomfort, or dysfunction in the muscles that move the jaw of the joints that connect the jaw to the skull. Oftentimes, movement is restricted, a patient may experience a clicking sound, and although it’s not life-threatening, TMJ can worsen and become debilitating. TMJ affects up to 30% of the Canadian adult population, usually between 20 and 40 years of age, and usually female.
Does acupuncture work for TMJ?
Acupuncture is the most requested form of alternative medicine to treat TMJ and that’s for a reason. Although evidence is limited scientifically, acupuncture for TMJ has been shown to produce temporary, short-term reductions in muscle pain, and has no adverse effects or risks associated with it. On an anecdotal basis, practitioners have seen acupuncture for TMJ reduce muscular tension, promote healing, and increase range of motion.
Is acupuncture right for me?
If you have issues with your temporomandibular joint, acupuncture may be a very helpful resource. Inflammation, pain, and tension all go down in an area treated with acupuncture needles. This means less swelling and more mobility. The more movement we can create via acupuncture, both in physical movement and also in circulation, the more healing can take place. TMJ can be frustrating to treat with no discernible effective treatments available to all. Acupuncture is a tool some people may want to look into.
Does acupuncture work for Bell’s Palsy?
An exciting area of research with acupuncture treatment and TMJ is with Bell’s Palsy. One particular study found that up to 98% of patients suffering from facial paralysis relating to Bell’s Palsy actually saw it reversed, while another unconnected study found similar results with a 91% rate of effectiveness. Although it may not cure the condition, facial paralysis isn’t an entirely comfortable thing to live with. It comes strongly, strongly recommended to at least give an acupuncture protocol for Bell’s Palsy a try as it’s been known, for some, to completely change their lives.
Treating your TMJ disorder
Acupuncture is an entirely drug-free treatment for TMJ. Over time and without treatment, a condition like this can lead to severe headaches, neck and shoulder pains, ear aches, dizziness, and pain while chewing or opening the mouth. Acupuncture is effective at addressing all these issues while also providing relief from stress and anxiety. A recent study on acupuncture’s effects on TMJ in the UK found that up to 85% of patients found benefit with an average pain intensity reduction of 75%. That’s huge! If you haven’t yet, try acupuncture for your TMJ.