For many years doctors and dentists only looked to the symptoms of TMJ Syndrome. These might include any of the following: (pain in the face or jaw area, gnashing of teeth while sleeping, ear aches, pain opening/closing mouth, popping/clicking jaw, snoring, headaches, backaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), vertigo/dizziness, etc.). Many of the proposed treatments, such as wearing a prosthesis at night, injections to relax the muscles, and even surgery (in persisting cases) have met with only marginal success. None of these has shown any long-term effectivenes.
Recently more and more studies are being done to show that TMJ Syndrome is not just a Jaw-related problem. When an injured or weak muscle learns a bad habit of movement it not only can cause pain or stress to itself, but can also effect surrounding muscles. This injury can be due to an accident to the jaw muscle or it can be a referral pain from another group of muscles usually within the upper back or neck area. Individuals with stressful jobs, or jobs that require repetitive hand or arm movements are also susceptible to this referral reaction. They actually stress-up, effecting the muscles in the neck and upper back. Persistent pain is caused from the stronger, uninjured muscles over-compensating. Thus the muscle weakened from injury or stress becomes even weaker. It atrophies and is unable to fully heal.
Re-education of this injured muscle can bring a balance back into the muscle groups, which will allow them to perform normally and without pain. Electrical Stimulation has been used in conjunction with Physical Therapy for decades. However, in the past, it has not been found to be as useful as the therapist would like. In August of 1993 FDA released the Neurocare™ for marketing. Throughout the development of NEUROCARE™ and the NEUROCARE™ TREATMENT PROGRAM, existing complaints with EMS units were and continue to be addressed. For example, Neurocare is able to recruit more muscle with higher voltage, but with less patient discomfort because of lower amperage. The physicians using the Neurocare™ treatment program for TMJ have seen good results with their patients without surgery or apparatus in the mouth. The Neurocare™ is an electrical stimulator used to re-educate muscles in the upper back and neck area which are affecting the jaw area. When these muscles are sufficiently re-educated and the muscles are again in balance the symptoms of TMJ are eliminated.