Drs. Lori Mancuso & Godwin Sammut
Drs. Lori Mancuso
& Godwin Sammut



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TMJ



Over 2,500 out of approximately 3,000 newborn infants, ranging in age from one hour to 21 days old, have been treated for breastfeeding difficulties over a seven- year period with chiropractic spinal adjustments and cranial and TMJ procedures. The newborns were all delivered without drugs by a midwife either at the Gentle Birth Center (a free-standing birth center) or at home. The babies were all very healthy at birth, and the majority were seen by the pediatrician within a 24-hour period following birth. Birth trauma seems to occur in all babies, especially to the cranium. All the babies were unable to breastfeed with ease utilizing proper technique. All babies treated exhibited a unilateral or bilateral TMJ syndrome as the primary cause. In all cases, AK cranial and TMJ procedures, and/or Upledger cranial procedures, eliminated or greatly improved infant breastfeeding performance after only one adjustment, in 90 percent of newborns seen within 21 days after birth. The newborn is usually seen once a week for 2-4 visits. From clinical experience, the most dramatic and powerful single adjustment with a 99.9 percent success rate in eliminating and/or preventing breastfeeding difficulties occurs when the newborn is adjusted several minutes to 48 hours after birth.

Source: Victoria Arcadia, DC --, Dynamic Chiropractic, 2003.

Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome or TMJ as it is more commonly called, is a condition of facial pain in the joints of the jaw caused by misalignment of the Jaw. TMJ can be a frustrating and sometimes debilitating problem. Since it is a problem of the jaw, it affects us in some of the most common activities of daily living such as eating and talking.

TMJ Symptoms:
  • Pain in the TM Joints associated with Jaw movements
  • Intermittent locking episodes
  • Limited range of vertical opening
  • Facial pain a sense of facial muscle fatigue
  • Noises in the TM Joints associated with Jaw movements (clicking, snapping, crunching, etc.)
  • Grinding of teeth at night

Secondary symptoms associated with TMJ disorders include:
  • Ear aches not associated with an infection
  • A sense of fullness in one or both ears
  • Frequent headaches
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Neck Shoulder pain

TMJ disorders affect about 20% of the population, and that 20% spans all age groups, pre-teen, teens, young adults, the middle aged, and seniors.



A 41-year-old woman sought chiropractic care with complaints of pain at the TMJ on both sides, ear pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo, decreased hearing ability, and a sensation of pressure or fullness in both ears. She also reported that movements of her jaw while talking or chewing provoked pain at the TMJ.

Before seeking chiropractic care she was treated for her TMJ by two medical doctors. She was also referred to an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist, who diagnosed her with TMJ syndrome. Additionally, she was referred to a dentist for the problem. Medical recommendations were to apply heat to the area, reduce talking and yelling, and change her diet to a soft diet. Even with all this medical and dental care her symptoms steadily continued to get worse.

Eventually she sought the care of a chiropractor. After an examination it was determined by the chiropractor that the patient had an Atlas subluxation, (first bone in the neck). Care was begun by a series of adjustments. After only a few visits the patient reported significant improvement in her symptoms. After two and a half months she reported complete relief from the TMJ symptoms. She also reported a decrease in the frequency and severity of her headaches. Prior to starting chiropractic care, she was experiencing 1 to 2 migraine headache attacks per month. The effects of the chiropractic care were long term as shown at her 1-year follow-up where she had not experienced any headache symptoms for a period of 9 months and her TMJ complaints had completely resolved.

Source: January 2002 edition of the peer reviewed scientific journal, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT)

There are potential solutions to the anguish of TMJ pain, and evidence suggests chiropractic may provide the best option. A recent study revealed that chiropractic treatment using a specific adjusting instrument eased patients` discomfort after only three visits a week for two weeks. Before treatment, patients reported TMJ-related symptoms lasting an average of eight years, but following chiropractic care, they experienced reduced pain and improvements in other symptoms, with no noted side-effects.



Source: DeVocht JW, Long CR, Zeitler DL, et al. Chiropractic treatment of temporomandibular disorders using the Activator adjusting instrument: a prospective case series. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Sept. 2003:26(7), pp421-5.

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