Adjustments + Jaw Pain
Things are not always what they seem to be.
A patient visited me with a painful jaw problem of several months duration. The jaw was difficult to open and would shift off to the side during a yawn. It was very painful to chew anything. Both a dentist and a primary care physician had been consulted. The problem persisted. When I examined this patient I wanted to understand what control mechanisms of this body were malfunctioning.
What was going on between the nervous system and the function of the jaw?
Examination of the jaw revealed the shifting, but there was not enough inflammation to cause the symptoms of pain. I turned my attention away from the jaw to look carefully at the upper neck. My examination revealed misalignment between the skull and the first cervical vertebra and an irritated first cervical nerve. This nerve connects to the pain nerves of the jaw through a nerve switchboard in the upper spinal cord. This is what was causing the pain.
During that first visit, I was able to correct the misalignment and pain in the jaw was significantly reduced. The pain was gone after a second adjustment. Two months of suffering with jaw pain was over. What seemed to be a jaw problem was not the real problem.
The nervous system is the master control system of the body. Empowered with the knowledge and the tools to evaluate and correct interferences to this system, Chiropractors have the ability to help so many people who are suffering.
Learning about other people’s stories is a great way to understand the impact of quality chiropractic care. I invite you to read The Well-Adjusted Soul by Fabrizio Mancini and Giles A. LaMarche.