NUCCA and TMJ
TMJ dysfunction generally presents with pain in the jaw that can radiate toward the neck and ear. A popping or clicking sound when the jaw is moved as well as a limited range of jaw movement often accompany the pain. A 2012 study revealed the benefits of NUCCA for TMJ pain relief.
Research Involving TMJ Pain and Upper Cervical Chiropractic
The study involved 5 adult patients of varying ages who were referred to an upper cervical chiropractor by a dentist when jaw pain became chronic and could not be resolved. The patients had experienced TMJ problems for an average of more than 9 years.
The study was conducted over the course of 8 weeks, and each patient was examined and then only adjusted once using the NUCCA method. Follow-up examinations revealed the correction of the upper cervical subluxations and relief from TMJ pain.
The method used to record pain relief was VAS (Visual Analog Scale). On a scale of 0 (no pain) to 10 (extreme pain), the patients reported an average pain level of 5.9 prior to receiving care. Following the adjustment, patients averaged a mere 0.9 with the worst pain being reported at 2.0.
How NUCCA Helps TMJ Pain
The reason why TMJ problems often involve pain that radiates toward the neck is because the atlas vertebra (the top bone in the spine) is close to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and can affect how it functions. As a result, correcting atlas problems can often resolve stubborn TMJ pain as shown in the study above.
NUCCA is a particularly gentle form of upper cervical chiropractic care that focuses on the specific determination of atlas misalignments and gentle correction of the subluxation. These adjustments are long-lasting and can allow the body the time it needs to heal from the nerve, tissue, and joint damage that resulted from the initial misalignment.
If you are experiencing jaw pain or TMJ dysfunction, contact a NUCCA practitioner near you to learn if an atlas misalignment may be the underlying problem.
Woodfield, Charles H. Dickholtz Sr., Marshall. Subluxation Based National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) Care for Temporomandibular (TMJ) Pain. Journal of Philosophy, Principles & Practice of Chiropractic. 31 December 2012. Pages 75-77. Accessed online 7 December 2016.