Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly typical problem reported by many people after a car crash, and it can be challenging for some doctors to identify the root of the problem. Complicating the issue, oftentimes you won't experience TMJ pain until many weeks or months after the accident.
Dr. Holcombe has treated many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific literature explains what causes these types of symptoms. During a collision, the tissues in your neck are commonly stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can clearly 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 injury, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a collision are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Holcombe sees this very commonly in our Arlington, VA office.
Research indicates that the source of many jaw or TMJ symptoms originates in the cervical spine and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The secret to resolving these symptoms is simple: Dr. Holcombe will work to restore your spinal column back to health, relieving the inflammation, treating the injured tissues, and eliminating the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Holcombe finds that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we return your spine to its healthy condition.
If you reside in Arlington, VA and you've been hurt in a car crash, Dr. Holcombe can help. We've been treating auto injury patients since 2000, and we can probably 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.