The Connection Between Cervical Dystonia and TMD

The Connection Between Cervical Dystonia and TMD

Aug 13, 2019

Have you heard of cervical dystonia? If not, that’s okay. Most people have never heard of this medical condition that makes your head and neck to sit in an unusual – and often uncomfortable – position involuntarily. But, cervical dystonia can be a cause of concern for some individuals living with jaw conditions, such as TMD. Dr. Korous treats individuals living with TMD in Frisco, Texas, and surrounding area.

Cervical dystonia, also known as spasmodic torticollis, is so rare that the Centers for Disease Control estimate that approximately just three in 100,000 have it. It is also so rare that it is classified by the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) as a type of focal dystonia.

It typically develops around middle age and affects women more than men.

Cervical dystonia is very painful and can present itself as a tremor, which can vary in length and severity from patient to patient. It can also cause pain and stiffness throughout the body, including the neck, back, and shoulders. Many sufferers of cervical dystonia also experience numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands, and feet.

Many different things can trigger cervical dystonia, but one of the things often identified as a trigger is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). TMD is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that connect the lower jaw to the skull, allowing it to move left and right, up and down and back and forth.

While it is unclear if either the conditions go hand in hand, some researchers believe that the proximity of temporomandibular joint to the second cervical (C2) vertebra.

The belief is that inflammation or damage to the temporomandibular joint could trigger or at least aggravate already present cervical dystonia, but not evident. Cervical dystonia could also irritate the nerves of the TMJ, causing the symptoms of TMD to worsen.

Cervical dystonia is treatable, just like TMD, and the treatment plan for both conditions is similar, and many patients living with cervical dystonia benefit from custom orthotic appliances.

If you’re living with TMD, give Dr. Korous in Frisco, Texas, a call at 972-468-8771 to discuss your treatment options.

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