Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly typical problem reported by people after a car wreck, and it can be challenging for some physicians to diagnose the root of the problem. Complicating the matter, oftentimes you won't experience TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after a crash.
Dr. Covington has helped many people with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific research 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 injury. This can clearly cause pain in the neck and back, but since your nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause pain 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 or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injury, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a crash are very common because of neck injury, and the jaw works the same way. Dr. Covington sees this very frequently in our Yakima office.
Studies have shown that the source of many jaw or TMJ problems starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The secret to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Covington will work to return your spinal column back to health, alleviating the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Covington has found that jaw and headache issues often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy state.
If you reside in Yakima and you've been injured in a car crash, Dr. Covington can help. We've been treating auto injury patients since 2010, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (509) 895-7535 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.