A recent jaw case deserves description here because it was both terrible in its symptomology and long lasting, yet was relatively easy to resolve using the methods described in our previous blog. Claire had been experiencing pain, tension, headaches and popping sounds from her jaw for over ten years. She believes these symptoms originated with treatment she had sought for back pain in 2000. Her neck became a focus of treatment even though at the time she was not experiencing any neck pain or discomfort. Within a year of sporadic treatment, she began to feel a destabilization of her neck, along with pain and issues with her jaw. At this point Claire discontinued treatment, but the symptoms only got worse.
Along with jaw tension and neck pain Claire started to experience headaches that would not go away. The pain was so bad it would frequently wake her from sleep in the night. She got MRI’s, X-rays, changed her diet and did acupuncture. She also worked with various medical doctors, PT’s, a neurologist, dentists, and chiropractors, as well as trying yoga and weight training but experienced no lasting relief. By this point, Claire’s situation had deteriorated to the point that when she opened her mouth you could actually see her jaw zigzag, being pulled to the right and then to the left, before it closed.
About 5 years ago Claire was referred to a neurologist for Botox treatments during which she received 15 injections in her neck within a week. The injections only made her neck even worse. Although her practitioner offered no explanation for the deterioration, Claire eventually learned, through her own research, that she was experiencing severe side effects to the Botox in her system.
By the time she contacted my office Claire was despondent. She was referred to Dorfman Kinesiology due to our success in working with difficult cases. My first meeting with Claire was a video-conference during which I was able to assess her posture and alignment as well as take a verbal case history. I assured her right away that we would be able to help. And we did. Quickly.
After my very first hands-on appointment with Claire her jaw and neck were significantly better and over the following week her headaches, tension and pain were gone. In following sessions, along with the massage work, Claire was offered the stretches and exercises she needed to continue on her journey toward a healthy structural alignment.
And this is not rocket science. In general, there is a simple set of principles that guides the resolution of most head, neck and jaw disorders: extension and positioning. Extension of the neck and spine is needed to alleviate compression, just as extension in the lower back is necessary to alleviate pain in the lower back. But even more important is the repositioning of the head, neck, shoulder and jaw alignment. For jaw cases like Claire’s, patients must reorient their basic jaw position/mechanics to experience relief. And as I explained in my previous post, the biomechanical realignment of the jaw is relatively easy to create. For Claire this proved to be true as well.
Of the 100’s of neck cases I’ve seen a high percentage had jaw involvement and many had been misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly within the modern medical system. Claire’s case is an extreme example of such treatment errors that resulted in terrible outcomes for the patient again and again. And, as was true in this case, one of the consistent mistakes I’ve seen is the failure to interrelate the head, neck and jaw and offer treatment to address all 3 areas.
According to the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies, 100 million Americans experience chronic pain. The National Institute for Health Statistics lists headaches, neck pain, and facial pain as 3 of the 4 most common areas of chronic pain with only lower back issues being more prevalent. At BDK , however we recognize neck pain, jaw pain and headaches are interrelated and are successfully addressed simultaneously, just as was done in our work with Claire.
If you are one of those millions who suffer from discomfort or pain in the head, neck or jaw, we can help. If you have been unable to get relief from other practitioners, please come see us. Our success in this area makes Dorfman Kinesiology a leader in the resolution of head, neck and jaw issues. Extend, reposition and relax with Dorfman Kinesiology and you will feel better forever.