TMJ and the Musculoskeletal System
The musculosteletal system is made up of the bones of the skeleton, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, joints and other connective tissue that support and attach tissues and organs. This system supports the body, allowing motion and protecting vital organs. As TMJ issues inherently involve the musculoskeletal system, treatment of TMJ issues necessarily requires a holistic approach.
Apart from garden-variety stress, any instability or injury to the musculoskeletal system can cause or contribute to tension, including clenching and/or grinding and muscle guarding (muscle guarding occurs when muscles are tensed in preparation for use). What may have begun as a simple injury or instability too often results in a painful cycle of tension, further instability and pain.
Any treatment approach which fails to take the entire system into account is by definition an incomplete approach that will yield few, if any, lasting results. To be truly effective and provide patient relief and healing, TMJ therapy must move from traditional symptom care to a global, holistic approach. Stress and tension must be addressed first to render the system receptive to any and all treatments. The jaw, the strongest muscle in the body, serves as both an important monitor for tension patterns in the human body and as an essential entry point onto the path of true health and wellness.
In Health and Happiness,
Dr. Richard Gerardo, D.C. C.S.C.P. & D.A.C.B.N
View Part 3 of this series Addressing TMJ Diagnosis & Treatment.
TMJ and the Musculoskeletal System – Thousand Oaks CA