Cervical Range of Motion & TMJ
Sure, TMJ disorders can respond very well to acupuncture. But it isn’t just needling ST7 or SI19. And it isn’t just ashi needling or needling the masseter motor point.
In fact, before you put any needles in, you should go through an assessment. How else will you know why the patient has TMJ pain and how to treat it?
One important part of the assessment is the exam. During the exam, we need to check the patient’s cervical Range of Motion (ROM). There must be cervical extension in order for the jaw to function properly. Go ahead and try it! Open your mouth like you’re taking a big bite and you will notice your head tilts back.
A 2003 study found that all participants with TMJ complaints had either reduced or no cervical extension.
If your TMJ patient has reduced or absent cervical extension (their head doesn’t tilt back), then you will have to address the neck.
To learn more about this and the complete assessment and treatment of TMJ disorders, pick up the TMJ webinar from Dr. Lombardi!