Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly typical problem reported by people after a car crash, and it can be tough for some physicians to diagnose the cause of the problem. Complicating the matter, very often you won't experience TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after a crash.
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 spine are oftentimes stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve injury. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause issues 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 frequently in our Arlington, VA office.
Research shows that the source of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can fix the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The trick 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 removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Holcombe has found that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy state.
If you reside in Arlington, VA and you've been hurt in a car crash, Dr. Holcombe can help. We've been working with 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.