TMJ pain is a common health problem with a prevalence rate of about 5 to 12 percent in the USA. This means that millions of people actively look for TMJ relief in Cedar Park and other parts of the country.
Unfortunately, besides causing you pain every time you attempt to move your jaw, a TMJ disorder can also trigger other problems, including sleep apnea. This presents sleeping challenges and increases your risk of suffering from more pain and discomfort.
But how do these two things relate to each other? More importantly, what can you do when you have TMJ pain and sleep apnea? Is there hope for your situation? Let’s deep dive into both problems below.
The Connection: Sleep Apnea and TMJ Disorder
Some of the patients coming in here at Symmetry Health Chiropractic Center for TMJ relief in Cedar Park also complain about sleep apnea. This is also the same trend observed in the latest statistics, which report that around 75 percent of patients with TMJ pain also struggle with sleep breathing problems like OSA or obstructive sleep apnea.
Essentially, when you have OSA, normal airflow from your nose, mouth and lungs gets obstructed by your throat muscles. As a result, you might experience symptoms such as:
- Loud snoring
- Difficulty breathing when you sleep
- Morning headaches
- Dry mouth when you wake up
- Irritability or mood swings
- Impaired concentration
- Lethargy even after a long sleep
TMJ disorder, on one hand, refers to a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint that connects your upper and lower jawbones. When you have a TMJ disorder, the joints connecting your jaws appear irritated or inflamed due to certain factors such as a spinal or neck bone misalignment.
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It’s quite a common problem observed among people who previously suffered from an accident like a car collision or a sports-related injury. During such physically traumatic events, the neck overextends, resulting in an atlas subluxation.
Consequently, the misaligned bones shift presses on nerve bundles such as the trigeminal nerve (which innervates your facial muscles and jaw), brainstem, and the nearby muscles. The misalignment also forces the body to compensate for the changes resulting in mechanical stress on various joints, including your TMJ. The longer the misalignment persists, the worse your TMJ pain and sleep apnea gets.
Quick and Simple Remedies for OSA and TMJ Pain
Seeking lasting OSA or TMJ relief in Cedar Park may require a bit of help from healthcare professionals like your physician or an upper cervical chiropractor. As we’ve pointed out in the discussion above, a spinal misalignment may be the root cause of both problems. So, while you’re seeking long-term solutions, it may help if you try doing simple remedies at home. Some worth it natural relief methods you can check out include the following:
A cold compress or ice pack is most probably the quickest remedy for inflammation and pain. It helps with the soreness of the affected areas like your face and jaw.
Work on your posture
Because TMJ and sleep apnea can stem from a neck bone misalignment, you should consider correcting any posture problems like slouching or leaning forward when you walk or sit. It can help you minimize the impact of the misaligned bones on your jaws and trigeminal nerve.
Try doing gentle jaw stretches
If you have a mild type of TMJ pain, you might find it quite helpful to do gentle jaw exercises. Goldfish exercises, chin tucks, and other supported jaw movements may come in handy in reducing your symptoms.
Manage your stress levels better
Stress aggravates various health conditions, including TMJ disorders. That’s why we recommend using relaxation techniques like yoga, breathing, and meditation. These can help you clear your mind and ease muscle tension.
Adjust your sleeping position
This specific remedy may come in handy in dealing with jaw pain and sleep apnea. By finding a more suitable sleeping position, you can better support your spine and prevent the throat muscles from impeding airflow.
Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol can exacerbate both your sleep apnea problem and TMJ disorder. Alcohol is a stimulant that can trigger teeth grinding when you fall asleep, which can add stress to your inflamed TMJ. It also tends to relax the throat muscles, causing a blocked airway.
Natural Help for TMJ Pain from Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care
The home remedies we listed above work best when paired with long-term options for TMJ relief in Cedar Park, such as upper cervical care. This specific approach aims to address the likely cause of your pain and sleep breathing problems – a misaligned neck.
It’s a delicate and precise process that involves identifying the key points that need adjustment. As upper cervical chiropractors in Cedar Park, we use advanced imaging techniques to understand the spinal misalignment problem fully. Then, we design a customized approach for correcting the misaligned bones to ensure that the chiropractic adjustments we provide hold.
With your neck and spinal alignment slowly adjusted, you can begin noticing lesser pain from your TMJ and better sleep quality. As a result, you can enjoy your usual activities without worrying about a TMJ disorder’s impacts or disturbed sleep due to OSA.
Looking for a way to experience lasting TMJ relief in Cedar Park? Get in touch with us at Symmetry Health Chiropractic Center and schedule your consultation. You can drop us a line via our web form or talk to us directly at 512-331-7422.
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If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.