TMJ Pain

I recently treated two patients with similar findings. One patient was a notorious teeth grinder while sleeping. The other had no jaw history/symptoms at all. However, both patients had a complete lack of function when testing the rectus abdominis (six pack) and transverse abdominis muscles: two major players when it comes to core stability. When these muscle groups fail functional testing, it becomes my mission to discover what muscles the brain is choosing to use instead. In these two patients, engaging the muscles that clench the jaw immediately improved their core testing. 

These cases demonstrate that if the muscles designed to provide stability to your skeleton (core muscles) aren't being used effectively, your brain will automatically recruit another muscle group in an attempt to regain some of that lost stability. The big picture is, the brain doesn't care what new muscle group it uses, as long as it gets the job done. Although TMJ problems may develop for a variety of reasons, the TMJ dysfunction described in this example was a direct result of a poorly functioning core. These patients weren't experiencing symptoms, but the longer the jaw muscles are used for extra stability, the more likely it is that jaw-related symptoms may develop: TMJ pain, clicking or popping of the jaw, headaches, neck pain or tooth destruction from grinding. Simply trying to treat these symptoms would not resolve the problem. We must address the cause: core dysfunction and instability.

Once we've established the relationship between over-working muscle groups and under-underworking muscle groups, we can implement a treatment plan specifically designed to reset this dysfunctional motor control pattern. As the under-working core muscles resume proper function, the brain can relax the jaw muscles. If you or anyone you know is struggling with TMJ problems, core dysfunction may very well be the cause.


Ohio Mobile Chiropractic provides care for the Westshore communities of Cleveland and the surrounding areas. Our office is located in Westlake, Ohio, Cuyahoga County.

Phone: 440-429-8500


Westlake, Oh Chiropractor


Ohio Mobile Chiropractic

1055 Bradley Road Ste A

Westlake, Oh 44145

Hours of Operation

8am - 6pm, M

9am - 6pm, T

2pm - 7pm, W,

8am - 6pm, Th

8am - 1pm, F