Why Does My Face Hurt?
Facial pain can make it hard to concentrate. That, in turn, can make it hard to take care of yourself or your children. We understand facial pain can be debilitating, and even incapacitating. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We believe one of the first steps in finding long-lasting pain relief is understanding your pain and what’s causing the pain in the first place.
Facial Pain Symptoms
Your facial pain symptoms will vary based on what is causing the pain. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- Jaw pain
- Jaw stiffness
- Weakness or paralysis on one side of the face
- Pain in and around the ear
- Tingling or numbness
- Shocking or jolt of pain
- Chronic pain
- Pain/pressure behind the eyes and nose
- Pain in the forehead
- Aching or burning feeling
What Causes Facial Pain?
Common facial pain causes include:
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
- Nerve issues
- Vascular issues such as headaches/migraines
- Dental issues
Below, we’ll talk a bit about the most common facial pain issues we can help with.
TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. TMJ pain is diagnosed as a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), but many patients simply call it TMJ. The joint connects your jawbone to your skull. TMJ symptoms include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain in localized to the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Pain with chewing or difficulty chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth because of locking of the joint
TMJ can be caused by arthritis of the jaw, clenching of the teeth, and injury to the jaw.
Bell’s palsy is a sudden weakness or paralysis of one side of the face due to inflammation of a facial nerve. Symptoms can worsen quickly. It’s a temporary condition, but can affect your self-esteem. Symptoms may include:
- Inability to close the eye on the affected side
- Facial drooping of the affected side
- Teary or dry eye on the affected side
- Pain in or behind the ear on the affected side
- Sound sensitivity
- Loss of the sense of taste
- Difficulty speaking due to weakness around the mouth
Bell’s palsy may be caused by the herpes virus. Other risk factors include: obesity, chronic high blood pressure, diabetes, upper respiratory infections, pregnancy, and severe preeclampsia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition involving the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensations from your face to your brain. It can cause excruciating pain on one side of your face. Trigeminal neuralgia affects women more than men, and is more common in people over 50. Symptoms may include:
- Extreme pain like an electric shock to the face
- Sudden attacks triggered by brushing your teeth, chewing, or touching your face
- Pain lasting days, weeks, or months
- Pain in one side of the face at a time
- Rarely pain at night
Trigeminal neuralgia is caused by irritation of the trigeminal nerve. A spinal adjustment can help take the pressure off of the nervous system and restore the spine, skull, and pelvis to proper alignment.
Sinusitis, better known as a sinus infection, is a sinus issue that can cause facial pain in the area of your eyes and nose. Chiropractic care can help you prevent sinus infections by improving the drainage from your ears.
Dental problems such as impacted wisdom teeth or a damaged tooth can also cause facial pain. You may have swelling along your jaw as well as pain. If you have a problem with your teeth, you will need to see your dentist.
Facial Pain FAQs
Q: What is the most common cause of facial pain?
A: According to Johns Hopkins University, trigeminal neuralgia is.
Q: Can neck misalignment cause facial pain?
A: Yes. If the cervical spine is out of alignment, it can put pressure on nerves, causing inflammation and pain.
Q: Can chiropractors fix jaw pain?
A: In many cases, yes. We have specialized adjustments for our patients suffering from TMJ.
How Cima Health Can HelpCima Health provides restorative, lifelong solutions that target the root cause of your facial pain. Your care will start out with a comprehensive evaluation to assess the pain. We will also ask questions about your health history, home life, lifestyle, and habits before making recommendations for an integrative plan of care. Together, we come up with conservative and alternative treatments that can help you live a healthy and active life. Treating and preventing ankle pain involves several treatment modalities, all of which you or your child can receive in one location. They include:
After a thorough evaluation, the chiropractic care team may make precise adjustments based on the cause of your facial pain. One of these is upper cervical chiropractic therapy (UCC). Your upper neck is the most sensitive area of your spine, and by correcting the alignment and tilt of the top vertebrae, we can minimize or eliminate your pain. The doctor may also adjust your jaw and skull bones.
There is also a special adjustment we can do to help with the chronic pain from trigeminal neuralgia.
Which specific treatments you receive will depend on the cause of your ankle pain. These adjustments are gentle, and will not cause you pain. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, we may use other tools, including:
- Dry needling
- Class IV laser therapy
Our Palm Beach Gardens chiropractors include:
You may also receive medical care in the form of steroid injections or Botox® injections as appropriate. This can help relieve jaw tension and pain caused by TMJ as well as pain from trigeminal neuralgia.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical therapy can help you get rid of your facial pain for good. Treatments may include stretching exercises to relieve your pain as well as strengthen your jaw and facial muscles to prevent further problems.
Our physical therapy team will show you a range of therapeutic exercises and self-massage techniques you can do at home as well as with the therapist. If you have Bell’s palsy, the therapist will educate you on how to protect your eye and face, as well as help you regain normal movement.
Massage therapy is also useful in reducing facial pain, including pain from trigeminal neuralgia. The massage therapist can also help you recover from bell’s palsy, and show you self-massage techniques. This can help reduce muscle weakness and strengthen facial muscles.
Depending on the cause of your facial pain, the doctors at Cima Health may make some recommendations for lifestyle changes. These can include:
- Avoiding triggers of your facial pain
- Avoiding environmental and food allergens
- Making dietary changes
- Exercising more
- Reducing your stress to avoid teeth clenching
Making some dietary changes can reduce your risk of high blood pressure or obesity, both of which are risk factors for Bell’s palsy. Our functional medicine team can work with you to develop a nutrition plan that helps reduce inflammation and help you lose weight. Eating a healthy diet will help you feel better overall.
Getting physically fit and strengthening your muscles can help reduce some of your risk factors for various forms of facial pain. Our physical fitness team can also help you by developing an exercise program tailored to your capabilities and goals. Regular exercise can help with weight loss and improve circulation, targeting several causes of facial pain.
By making some lifestyle changes and getting regular chiropractic adjustments, you can help reduce facial pain and prevent it from coming back. Team up with the providers at Cima Health to find restorative, lifelong solutions.
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Book an Appointment
Facial pain can cloud your whole outlook on life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re looking for an integrative approach to treatment for your pain, book an appointment today. One of our chiropractors will do a comprehensive examination to get to the root cause of your pain and develop an integrative plan of care to relieve your pain and inspire you to achieve whole-body wellness.