The jaw is composed of a complex pair of joints called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), that are located on each side of the face. These joints are advanced moving parts that allow the mouth to hinge open and close, as well as do a sliding motion so the jaw can move side to side.  The TMJ is what connects the lower part of the jaw, called the mandible, to the rest of the skull. The parts of the bones that interact with each other in the joint are covered with cartilage and have a disc between them to assist with keeping jaw movements smooth. TMJ pain could happen for several reasons:

  1. The disc can wear out or misalign
  2. The cartilage can become damaged
  3. The joint can be hurt from an injury or impact

The range of TMJ disorder symptoms can vary from mild pain to being unable to open and close the jaw to eat, speak, or yawn.

The Neck and the Jaw

It is very common that the same people who have TMJ pain and problems also have neck pain.  This is not a coincidence. The atlas (the uppermost vertebra in the spine) is located very close to the TMJ on either side of the face.  The slightest misalignment of the atlas vertebra can lead to unequal muscle tension in the jaw, resulting in one side working harder than the other.  An atlas misalignment can negatively affect the nerves that assist the muscles of the jaw and face, resulting in abnormal function.

We highly recommend contacting an upper cervical chiropractor if you think that the cause of your TMJ could be related to an atlas misalignment.  At Advanced Spinal Care, this is the area of the spine that what we specialize in. By taking a detailed examination at the way that the atlas is positioned, we can identify even the most minor deviation of normal alignment that could cause serious problems.  After a gentle correction to realign the atlas, the body naturally begins to correct any imbalances so that normal jaw function can be restored.


To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

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if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

habits-to-avoid-to-keep-tmj-pain-awayThe temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is one of the most frequently used joints in the body. It is responsible for movements needed for eating, chewing, talking, yawning, and so on. This joint is designed similar to a hinge, connecting the jaw bone to the skull.  Issues in the function of this joint could be a result of a problem within the joint itself or with the muscles that power the joint’s movement. There are many characteristics that can be ascribed to issues with the TMJ such as popping or clicking in the joint, pain or tenderness in the jaw, ear aches, or difficulty chewing.

Habits that can be a factor in TMJ pain include the following:

Reducing some of these habits can bring relief for milder cases of temporomandibular joint dysfunction.  However, if avoiding these activities does not provide lasting relief, then they are probably not the root cause of your TMJ problems, and it is most likely necessary to further investigate the issue.

The Connection Between the Spine and the Jaw

The focus of upper cervical chiropractic care is on the alignment of the atlas vertebra which is located at the very top of the neck and is closely connected to the function of the jaw joint.  If the atlas moves out of alignment to even a slight degree, it can negatively affect the proper function of the jaw. Atlas misalignments can lead to the jaw pulling to one side due to unequal muscle tension on either side of the face.  This makes a person susceptible to pain, clicking, popping, or limitations in range of motion.

Atlas adjustments at Advanced Spinal Care are gentle and specific to exactly where the misalignment has occurred. The goal of our practice is to address the root cause of your TMJ pain and dysfunction using our natural methods. Correcting the atlas misalignment can restore proper balance and symmetry to the face and jaw joint, which means less pain and fewer issues related to temporomandibular joint dysfunction.



To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Redwood City office at 650-595-0500 You can also click the button below.

Request a free consultation

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at

tmd-why-happen-can-helpTMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder and causes pain in the face and jaw. The chiropractic field has been caring for TMD for many years now. Studies have helped to prove this kind of care really works. A study focused on the positive results of using an activator adjustment tool to help with TMD patients. All of the patients showed improvement in their symptoms. General chiropractors often use an activator tool. However, upper cervical chiropractors use a different form of care for their patients. Does it work?

Upper Cervical Care and TMD

Upper cervical chiropractors focus on the top bones of the neck and ensure that they are in proper alignment. The C1 or atlas bone lies just below the skull near the jawline. If the atlas bone becomes misaligned, it can negatively impact the facial nerves and the jaw, leading to symptoms of TMD --  swelling, pain and a popping or grinding sound when chewing. This is why TMD pain sometimes radiates down the neck and up into the ear. Everything in this area of the face is closely interconnected.

Upper cervical chiropractic care is different from tradition chiropractic in that we do not resort to popping or cracking the neck to get results. Rather, we use a gentle method without force. We take specialized x-rays to help us determine the exact location of your misalignment and then use light pressure or a similar method to help the bones of the neck to realign more naturally. The body more readily accepts this type of realignment, and it puts less stress on the neck and spine overall, resulting in a longer-lasting adjustment.

Once the atlas bone has been repositioned, the body can begin its natural healing process. The jaw and facial muscles can begin to relax, and tension can be released. This is often all that is needed to improve the symptoms of TMD.

NUCCA chiropractor in Redwood City

Want to know how your misalignment is affecting your body?

Advanced Spinal Care now provides our patients with a great tool to see how your body is affected by your unique misalignment.
Advance Spinal Care
The Redwood City chiropractor who offers fast track resolutions to chronic pain with technically advanced NUCCA chiropractic, upper cervical diagnostic methods and treatment protocols.
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Advanced Spinal Care
643 Bair Island Rd Ste 208
Redwood City, CA 94063
(650) 595-0500
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