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Alternative Medicine for TMJ Disorder

There are many types of alternative therapies used for TMJ disorder.
The National Library of Medicine says that complementary and alternative medicine (also referred to as CAM) are therapeutic practices which are not currently considered an integral part of conventional medical practice.
Here is another way to tell the two terms apart:
[twocol_one]Alternative Medicine
[quote style=”boxed”]Therapies are termed “alternative” when they are used instead of conventional treatment.[/quote][/twocol_one]
[twocol_one_last]Complementary Medicine
[quote style=”boxed”]Therapies are termed “complementary” when they are used in addition to conventional treatment.”[/quote][/twocol_one_last]
Alternative treatments for TMJD include (but are not limited to):

  • Acupuncture

    Penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles that are manipulated by the hands or electrical stimulation. It is said to stimulate anatomical points on the body & is one of the oldest medical procedures in the world. We covered TMJ & acupuncture on our blog as well.

  • Biofeedback

    Measuring the body’s processes such as blood pressure, skin temperature, heart rate, and muscle tension to allow the patient to control his or her responses to pain. This is used in many multi-disciplinary pain management programs.

  • Chelation

    The administration of agents (usually by IV) to remove toxic substances from the body.

  • Chiropractics

    Used to diagnose and treat disorders of the spine and musculoskeletal system by adjustments of the bones.

  • Craniosacral Therapy

    Manual therapy in which the practitioner applies movement to the cranial bones in an attempt to bring the central nervous system into harmony.

  • Homeopathy

    Giving small doses of substances, that according to homeopaths, produce similar symptoms of illness in healthy people if they were given larger doses.

  • Naturopathy

    A school of medical practice that believes in the body’s innate capacity to recover from injury or illness, with many practitioners emphasizing a holistic approach to patient care.

  • Yoga and meditation

    -Since stress can be a contributor to TMJ disorder, practicing stress relieving techniques like deep breathing and meditation can help.

Acupuncture for TMJ DisorderPatients should inform their physician and pharmacist when considering alternative or complementary medicine, as many treatments could interfere with other medical treatments. It is always best to be wary of any treatment promising a cure, as there have been no treatments whether alternative or not that have cured TMJ disorder.  Many patients find that with TMJ disorder (or any chronic pain condition) it is helpful to use a multidisciplinary approach.
It is important to understand that many of these treatments are not mainstream, & have not been researched. None are FDA approved for the treatment of TMJ disorder. As with any treatment, it is essential to research each and become knowledgeable about the risks and side effects.