TMJ and Muscle at back of neck

by Kerri
(New Jersey)

About 15 years ago I had an injury to a muscle in the back of my neck to the right of the base of the skull. This injury affected my lower jaw, causing it to shift to the left when opened all the way. The injury prevented me from being able to turn my head all the way to the right, but oddly enough, I never experienced any jaw pain from that. BUT NOW .. Recently, I went to simply yawn, my jaw locked on the right side and cracked REALLY LOUD when I went to move it again.. Immediately after that crack, I was suddenly able to turn my head all the way to the right and my jaw no longer shifted to the left when opened ... Gradually, I have been developing pain and stiffness in the jaw joint (right side, directly in front of the earlobe) and stiffness and pain down the neck muscle that was originally affected by the injury. The jaw joint is sore to the touch, in a way I can only describe as feeling like a very bad bruise. It also clicks, locks and cracks from time to time.. It is also causing referred pain to the teeth on the lower right side of my mouth. I don't know whether to think the neck muscle is the cause and to seek a Chiropractor, or if the jaw joint/muscle caused the problem. Can you please advise me as to what direction I should take to seek treatment??

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May 14, 2012
Neck pain and TMJ
by: Dr. Spainhower

Hello Kerri,

Well, there really isn't a wrong choice when it comes to seeking help for TMJ...(except going to a surgeon first).

So, you pick which type of doctor to see, then do it. If you find some help or relief, then that's good.

I like the conservative approach like most people.

The first thing I would do is start with TMJ Exercises. The best thing would be to visit a recommended physical therapist in your area that TMJ Dentists or other professionals recommend.

If you want to be more conservative, you can purchase online TMJ exercises. I video taped my physical therapist on my patients doing a complete series of TMJ exercises. If you purchase that program, I'll also send you a SmartGuard night guard for just the shipping and handling fee of $5.00.

That's where I would start.

If you want to visit a local Doctor, I would visit a dentist i think on Long Island. Call Dr. Barry Rozenberg at 1-516-791-4000. Located at

260 West Sunrise Highway, #201, Valley Stream, NY

He just doesn't look at the bite for TMJ problems...he looks at the muscles and life style, nutrition and habits etc. Because so many variables affect the TMJ.

Here's a link to purchase the TMJ Exercise program. Just scroll past all of the salesy stuff to the bottom and purchase. You'll have immediate access to the videos. However, I am working on the videos currently and some videos (out of 42 videos) may not work for a few days or weeks. But the main videos should be working.

Here's the

Then email me for access to pay for the shipping for the SmartGuard night guard.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Dr. Spainhower

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