Jaw pain is a fairly common problem experienced by many people after a car accident, and it can be confusing for some health practitioners to identify the source of the problem. Complicating the issue, very often you won't develop TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after the original injury.
Dr. Zapf has helped many men and women with jaw pain after an injury, and the medical research explains what causes these types of symptoms. During a crash, the tissues in your neck are often 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 numbness 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 wreck are very common because of neck injury, and the jaw works the same way. Dr. Zapf sees this very commonly in our Burke office.
Research shows that the source of many jaw or TMJ problems originates in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The key to resolving these symptoms is simple: Dr. Zapf will work to return your spinal column back to health, alleviating the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured areas, and eliminating the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Zapf finds that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy condition.
If you live in Burke and you've been hurt in a crash, Dr. Zapf can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 1986, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (703) 455-9555 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.