TMJ | Abq

Sports Chiropractic & Massage | Placitas, NM

Dr. Smith treats Jaw Pain with a combination of Craniosacral, Myofascial Release, and gentle Chiropractic Adjustments. The TMJ is an extremely neurologically sensitive area and should be handled with care. If you are seeking treatment for TMJ in Placitas or the surrounding areas of Bernalillo, Rio Rancho, Abq, or Santa Fe call or schedule online.

Treatment for TMJ | Abq


When the TMJ is an issue, you may have a hard time appreciating its structural elegancePain often makes us miss the underlying details.  And pain is only the tip of the iceberg…vertigo, ringing in the ears, blocked sinuses, popping and cracking when you chew, locking…

There are many reasons that the jaw may become an issue:

There isn’t always a clear cause for pain, and the elusive “TMJD” (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is not always consistently diagnosed.  It is more often a problem for women, and many extreme treatments such as surgery and implants have been prescribed over the years with mixed results.

Conservative Treatment

It is not a bad idea to try a more conservative approach before going down the surgical rabbit hole.  A number of gentle techniques have anecdotally been found to be effective:

TMJ is more of a collection of symptoms than any one problem.  Because of that, your treatment will not likely be identical to someone else’s.  Make sure you find a practitioner who will take the time to assess your individual needs.  You will be glad that you did.

Dry Needling for TMJ | Abq

If you’ve ever winced at the mere thought of opening a wide-mouthed sandwich, you’re not alone. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ) affects millions, leaving them grappling with jaw pain, clicking, and limited mobility. While treatments like medication and oral appliances offer relief, a new and effective treatment is emerging: dry needling.

What is Dry Needling?

Imagine acupuncture without the mysterious energy channels. Dry needling uses thin, solid needles to target trigger points – those tender knots in your muscles that scream when poked. In this case, these trigger points often lurk in the jaw muscles, perpetuating pain and dysfunction.

How Does it Help?

The needles stimulate the trigger points, causing a local twitch response. This “twitch” is thought to relax the muscle, improve blood flow, and decrease inflammation, ultimately leading to pain relief and improved jaw movement.

Is it Right for You?

While research is promising, dry needling isn’t a magic bullet. If you’re considering it, make sure that it is incorporated into a more holistic treatment approach.

Here’s what to expect:

  • A thorough evaluation: Dr. Smith will discuss your symptoms and examine your jaw to identify trigger points.
  • Needle Time: The needles are thin and usually painless during insertion. You might feel a twitch or some discomfort as the trigger point is activated.
  • Post-Treatment TLC: Expect some soreness or stiffness for a day or two after treatment. Applying ice and gentle stretching can help ease these symptoms.

The Verdict:

Dry needling isn’t without its risks, like bruising or minor bleeding. However for many, it offers a non-invasive, drug-free approach to pain relief and improved jaw function.