Mr. A was an elderly gentleman who had suffered jaw pain for over a year. He had seen his doctor and a consultant about the pain and had received several tests, but there appeared to be no reason for the pain. Mr. A was consequently told it was arthritis in his jaw, which is to be expected at his age. He was finding it increasingly difficult to eat as he could not swallow or chew food and so started avoiding eating. A relative suggested he try an osteopath.
Diagnosis and treatment
Mr. A undoubtedly had osteoarthritis in his jaw, but the pain was due to very tight muscles around the it. Treatment was focused around his neck and head. I articulated around his jaw and the vertebra in his neck, mobilised around his trachea (throat) and used gentle soft tissue techniques to reduce the tone in the muscles around the area. He was given gentle exercises for his jaw, advised to eat ice lollies after resting the packet gently on his jaw for a couple of minutes first and to start singing again!
This may seem a little unconventional but he loved lollies and had stopped eating them due to pain. Icing the area first would reduce the pain. He was also disappointed he could no longer sing as it was something he had enjoyed in a choir before his health had deteriorated. Singing little and often would help stretch the muscles around the jaw and have a positive effect on his emotional wellbeing.
Positive long-term impact
After a further two treatments, Mr. A had started eating normally again and was fully equipped to deal with the pain should he have it again. I have seen Mr. A since this time for other musculo-skeletal issues, but thankfully his jaw symptoms have not returned to the level they were before his first treatment.