TMJ Disorder- The Painful (but Helpful) Truth

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder refers to a cluster of conditions characterized by pain in the TMJ or its surrounding tissues.1 TMJ conditions are common in the adult population and up to 75 percent of adults show at least one sign of joint dysfunction on examination and as many as one third have at least one symptom.2,3

The TMJ is a synovial joint that contains an articular disk, which allows for hinge and sliding movements.  This complex combination of movements allows for painless and efficient chewing, swallowing, and speaking. There is some evidence to suggest that anxiety, stress, and other emotional disturbances may exacerbate TMJ disorders. Common symptoms of TMJ disorders include jaw pain, limited or painful jaw movements, headache, neck pain or stiffness, clicking ... View More

Pain / Alternative Treatment Options

Acute pain, regardless of the degree, resolves when tissues heal and is usually a short-term problem.  Chronic pain, which is a disease state in itself, may persist for months or years.  Acute pain usually involves brief nociceptive input to the central nervous system (CNS), but chronic pain is primarily the result of a neuropathic injury or modulation within the CNS.

Discomfort is ameliorated by a variety of medications, among which are opioids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and steroids.  Chronic discomfort can be caused by malignant or non-malignant diseases.  Chronic or acute discomfort that results from a malignant condition is usually relieved by opioid therapy; however, some patients become opioid tolerant.  Opioids often do ... View More