TMJ Disorder and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?

If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), you are probably eager to learn more about this disease. EDS is relatively rare syndrome, and it is an umbrella diagnosis that encompasses a spectrum of tissue disorders under its classification. EDS affects the connective tissues in the human body, such as:

  • Blood vessels
  • Bones
  • Skin
  • Organs

This disorder is characterized by hyper-mobility of the joints, meaning that the joints have an unnaturally and possibly harmfully large range of movement. This abnormal elasticity of body tissues can place EDS patients at a higher risk for suffering from:

  • Joint dislocation
  • Severe bruising
  • Weak muscle tone
  • Organ malfunction
  • Spinal disorders

EDS can range from mild in severity by causing loose or painful joints, to having life-threatening implications from causing internal bleeding or organ rupture.

Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint and EDS

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMD, is characterized by pain and dysfunction of the jaw. TMD sufferers commonly experience the following symptoms:

  • Restricted movement or locking of the affected joint
  • Discomfort and problems when chewing and biting
  • Clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth
  • Pain or ringing in the ear
  • Reoccurring headaches
  • Aching in the cheek
  • Reduced range of movement in the temporomandibular joint

Patients who suffer from TMD have also been shown to have abnormal alignment in the vertebrae of the neck and spine. For patients who are living with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, the temporomandibular joint can be even more severely affected because of the hyper-mobility inherent to the disease.

Treating TMD and EDS Gently and Effectively with Chiropractic
Care

Since EDS patients are already predisposed to joint pain and problems, TMJ is often experienced as a concurrent diagnosis. A chiropractor can evaluate the jaw of an EDS patient by:

  • Performing a physical examination
  • Performing soft tissue scans
  • Performing x-rays
  • Measuring the degree of hyper-mobility in the jaw

Chiropractic care helps to readjust the posture of the neck and head in relation to the jaw. By gently and effectively adjusting the vertebrae in the neck, a chiropractor can help to relieve pressure in the temporomandibular joint. This helps to bring the posture of the skull back into alignment, which can offer real relief from headaches, jaw and neck pain and chewing difficulties. The correction of neck and skull posture enhances the stability of the temporomandibular joint, helping to prevent dislocation and further ill effects from both syndromes.

Chiropractic Care – Working in Harmony With Other
Treatments

Your chiropractor’s top priority is your health and well-being. The most effective approaches to treating TMD and EDS together often involve an entire team of dedicated and experienced healthcare professionals. The field of chiropractic care is safe, effective and has little to no adverse side effects. Your chiropractic care team will work to:

  • Correct vertebral misalignments
  • Encourage the strengthening of weakened muscles
  • Work toward developing a healthful range of motion in the jaw

By creating a comprehensive physical therapy plan that addresses the individual needs of each EDS and TMD patient, your chiropractor will create the foundation for healthful musculature function and spinal posture. This results a stabilization of EDS-related problems, easing the course of treatment for other healthcare professionals, such as a dentist and primary care physician, to conduct their care.

Chiropractic care offers an actionable and practical course of treatment for people suffering from EDS and TMD. By accessing compassionate and evidence-based therapies, like the procedures available at New York Dynamic Neuromuscular Rehabilitation (NYDNR), surgery can often be avoided. We create in-depth, individualized courses of treatment for effective pain management and enhancing your quality of life.

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