Acupuncture for temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder Antigonish & NEW GLASGOW Nova Scotia
A study published in 2017 examined 8 acupuncture for TMJ publications involving 231 patients. The study concluded that acupuncture was effective for reducing pain in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) (Jun-Yi Wu, 2019)
TMj disorders affect between 5-12% of the population and more females than males. A Canadian study based in Quebec found that 5% of the population experienced TMJ disorder yet 2% sought treatment. (J.-P. Goulet, 1995)
What is TMJ disorder?
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a unique hinge joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Problems of this joint causes various facial and neck pain called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome or temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
- Pain in one or both temporomandibular joints
- Difficulty opening jaw
- Locking of the joint
- Facial pain
- Difficulty Chewing
- Pain under ear that may radiate to neck
How Does Medicine Treat TMJ?
- Injections such as botox to numb the nerve
- Oral splints
- Medications such as muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatories and antidepressants
- Counselling to understand stress
The Chinese Medicine Approach to TMJ Disorder
Chinese Medicine approaches TMJ in a holistic way based on a system that was developed over thousands of years. Within your initial acupuncture / Chinese medicine consultation the location of your areas of discomfort is examined. Based on the various location that TMJ disorder can effect of your facial muscles and neck, acupuncture points are selected to help your nervous system to disengage muscular tension and reduce inflammation and pain. In combination with your acupuncture treatment, you may also receive Chinese herbal medicine, massage, guasha and exercises to do at home. (Lee, 2019)
Who Can Have Acupuncture and Chinese medicine for TMJ?
Anyone can have acupuncture without a GP’s referral. Acupuncture can be claimed by most health insurance cover, making a course of acupuncture more affordable in Nova Scotia.
Can You See a Chiropractor or Physio for Acupuncture?
Yes many Physios, Chiropractors and even massage therapists in Nova Scotia have done courses on acupuncture to add to their practice. You’ll find each practitioner and modality will have strengths for different conditions. Over Paul’s career in Chinese medicine he has worked within large multi modality clinics and has seen how a collaborative approach to healing works very well.
In dealing with TMJ, many people come for acupuncture after trying other modalities such as bite plates, botox, chiropractic, physio and massage. In the case of acupuncture and seeking a natural approach to healing this condition, acupuncture by a qualified acupuncturist (minimum 4 year degree) is recommended for the best outcome with acupuncture. Paul’s Bachelor of Chinese medicine included traditional acupuncture and herbal medicine as well as modern acupuncture approaches. Consider Paul a specialist in acupuncture treatment. With the amount of positive research on acupuncture and TMJ, this should be considered early after diagnosis of TMJ.
If you are already under care from your physio, chiropractor or massage therapist, rest assured that your treatment plan can work in with other treatments and this will all be discussed within your initial intake.
What Can you Expect in an Acupuncture Session for TMJ?
- As soon as you make an appointment either online or a phone call to reception, you will receive an automated email welcoming you to the practice and giving you links to patient forms to fill out etc.
- When you arrive at the clinic you’ll be welcomed with tea and time to relax before treatment.
- When you come in for your assessment, Paul will go through your health history based on Chinese medicine questions.
- Your wrist pulses will be examined and tongue observed.
- Acupuncture points and possible Chinese herbs will be selected based on the Chinese medicine diagnosis and a treatment plan formed.
- Acupuncture is performed with sterile, single use needles and retained in place for over 30 minutes, allowing you to relax.
- We will discuss the process so that you will feel comfortable to obtain the best outcome.
- After acupuncture we’ll go through the treatment plan so you feel confident in the path forward.
How to proceed with acupuncture and Chinese medicine for TMJ
A series of acupuncture treatments are recommended for TMJ. A study from 2014 found that acupuncture at only one session per week can produce positive results however more treatment in the initial phase is recommended. (Cássia Maria Grillo, 2015).
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Cássia Maria Grillo, G. D. l. T. C. R. S. W. M. C. A. C. M. R. B. F. B. M. d. L. R. d. S., 2015. Could Acupuncture Be Useful in the Treatment of Temporomandibular Dysfunction?. Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, 8(4), pp. 192-199.
J.-P. Goulet, G. L. J. L., 1995. Jaw pain prevalence among French-speaking Canadians in Québec and related symptoms of temporomandibular disorders. Journal of Dental Research, 74(11), pp. 1738-1744.
Jun-Yi Wu, M. C. Z. M. Y.-P. X. M. Y.-Y. Y. M. L. P. P., 2019. Acupuncture therapy in the management of the clinical outcomes for temporomandibular disorders. Medicine, 96(9).
Lee, A., 2019. ACUPUNCTURE FOR TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DYSFUNCTION (TMJ) NYC. [Online]
Available at: https://www.lesacupuncture.nyc/blog/acupuncture-jaw-grinding-tmj-chelsea-ny
[Accessed October 2019].