Jaw or temporomandibular joint pain is often seen after an auto collision, even when there is no one on one trauma to the face. The disorder can be bewildering to health care providers, as, quite often, the jaw symptoms may not show up right away after the injury, oftentimes developing many weeks or perhaps months down the road.
New scientific studies from the last 10 years suggests that jaw problems after a car crash in fact originates in the neck.
When your spine is damaged during a collision, the pain signals travel from the spinal column to your brainstem. Here, nerve fibers from many different areas of the body meet together before they travel to the pain centers of your brain.
When these nerves meet, the signals can get mixed up and crossed. It's akin to the arm pain experienced by a person having a heart attack. The nerve signals from the heart cross with the nerve signals of the arm, and the person feels the pain in the arm instead of the actual source.
The nerves of your face connect in the neck with pain receptors from your spine. When chronic pain impulses from your injury overstimulate the nerve junctions, you can feel pain in other parts of your head, including your jaw.
And as the jaw is feeling discomfort, it can cause the muscles in the face to tighten, causing more pain.
Chiropractic helps by helping your body repair the primary damage in the neck, which then helps pain in other areas of your body.
If you have been in an auto collision, Dr. Stern is here to help. We can help identify the root cause of your problem and develop a treatment plan to help you reclaim your health. We have helped many patients in San Francisco, CA recover from these types of problems since 2006 and we might be able to help you!
Call our office today at (415) 308-7636 for a consultation or for more information.