TMJ and Chiropractic

Temperomandibular JointYou may have heard or experienced a condition called TMJ which is a condition of clicking or pain in the Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) or jaw. It is more correctly termed TMD which stands for Temperomandibualr Disorder (TMD). These occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.

Causes include:

  • Injury to the jaw, Temperomandibular joint, or muscles of the head and neck (such as from a heavy blow or whiplash)
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth, putting great pressure through the TMJ
  • Stress, which can lead to clenching teeth, and/or tight facial and jaw muscles
  • Arthritis in the TMJ
  • Disrelationship of the complex jaw joint

Common symptoms of TMD include:

  • Decreased ability to open the mouth wide
  • A locked or stuck jaw either in an opened or closed position
  • Clicking, popping or grating sounds in the jaw joint on jaw movement
  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint, neck, shoulders and/or ear, including headaches and earaches
  • A tired feeling in the face
  • A change in the bite, as the teeth are not aligned

Intra-oral Cranials is a technique that your Chiropractor may use that is extremely effective in improving the movement of the jaw joint and hence reducing the symptoms relating to TMD. This Cranial technique addresses the bones of the skull and jaw to normalise the relationship of the skull with the jaw and the neck, and allow the jaw to move smoothly and freely and with its normal range.

Frozen Shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)

Health In The Bay Frozen ShoulderSigns/Symptoms

  • Frozen shoulder is characterised by stiffness and restriction of movement leading to a high degree of shoulder joint immobilisation (passive and active movements).
  • In most cases there is also some localised pain that can also cause secondary pain in the neck and trapezius muscle.
  • Patients are generally unable to raise their arm above 45 degrees and often any movement that involves external shoulder rotation inhibits pain.
  • Pain at night is often more severe, and a secondary side effect of frozen shoulder is insomnia.
  • It is most common over the age of 40 and more prevalent in woman.
  • Symptoms can often last from 5 months to 3 years, but healing time can be reduced with appropriate therapy, stretching and preventative techniques.



  • It is most commonly caused by thickening and contraction of the joint capsule – the connective tissue around the bony structures of the shoulder joint. There can also be a lack of synovial fluid in the joint
  • Can be caused by injury, however, it may also be a secondary symptom of thyroid, metabolic disease, stroke and auto-immune disease. Higher incidence in smokers. In many cases, there is no recognisable cause.
  • In Eastern medicine – deficient cases, there is a lack of nourishment (Ying Qi), leading to tendon/muscular weakness. In excess cases, wind/cold/damp/injury penetrates the shoulder joint causing local Qi/Blood stagnation in the channels (often Colon/Small Intestine channels). Can also include Gall Bladder, Lung, Triple Heater and Pericardium channels.



  • Aims to reduce pain, increase recovery time, increase range of movement and prevent worsening of symptoms.
  • Western medicine treatment aims to reduce pain and inflammation with anti-inflammatory drugs, and if particularly severe, steroid injections are used. Chronic painful issues are sometimes treated with surgery.
  • The most effective method of recovery is to continue a full range of movement within the joint to prevent further joint stiffness and muscle loss/weakness. Therefore, physical therapy generally involves range-of-motion exercises. Functional exercises should include moving the diseased shoulder in abduction, adduction, internal rotation and external rotation – morning and night.
  • Other therapies that can be effective are massage, acupuncture, herbal linaments and stretching. Common acupuncture points include SI9,10, LI4, 11, 14, 15.


Why do we get Back Pain?

Pain is very important to us. It is the body’s warning signal to us that something is not right. It is a signal that usually makes us stop and take notice and then hopefully take action to change it.
Health In The Bay spoonBack pain can come from several structures. The spine is made of 24 moving bones which are interconnected at joints, called Facet Joints, along the back of the spine. Between the ends of the bones in the spine there is a disc which is soft to allow mobility as well as shock absorption.
If the Facet Joints are not moving freely then there will be irritation at these nerve-rich joints, resulting in pain.
The same change in movement in the joints, or acute trauma, can result in the dics becoming inflamed and swollen, or even ruptured. The disc can then push on the nerve exiting the spine, again resulting in pain.
Together with these issues the muscles along the spine will spasm which is again a common source of back pain and stiffness.
Chiropractic care has helped many people with these problems by utilising appropriate techniques which improve the movement of the facet joints and the relationship between the vertebrae of the spine, hence reduce any of these sources of pain. If you don’t already have a Chiropractor, or would like to try a different approach schedule an appointment today.