Jaw pain is a fairly common problem reported by people after a car accident, and it can be hard for some doctors to find the root of the problem. Complicating the issue, very often you won't develop TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after the original injury.
Dr. Holcombe has treated many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the medical literature explains what triggers these types of symptoms. During a crash, the tissues in your neck are often stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve injury. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your central nervous system is one functioning unit, inflammation of the nerves can cause problems in other parts of your body.
For instance, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or pins and needles in the arm and hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured area, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a collision are very common because of neck injury, and the jaw works the same way. Dr. Holcombe sees this very commonly in our Arlington, VA office.
Studies have shown that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms originates in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The secret to resolving these symptoms is simple: Dr. Holcombe will work to restore your spine back to health, reducing the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured areas, and eliminating the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Holcombe has found that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we return your spine to its healthy state.
If you reside in Arlington, VA and you've been injured in a crash, Dr. Holcombe can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 2000, and we can most likely help you, too. Give our office a call today at (703) 933-9000 for an appointment or consultation.
Ciancaglini R, Testa M, Radaelli G. Association of neck pain with symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in the general adult population. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 1999;31:17-22.
Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, Pribicevic M, Robb A, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a system review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013;36(3):143-201.