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Earaches, TMJ, Neck Pain and Headaches?

Posted in TMJ Disorder on Sep 14, 2020

Is the connection between earaches, TMJ, neck pain, and headaches?

The short answer is YES.

If you’ve been dealing with chronic earaches, neck pain, and headaches and you’ve also been told that you have a TMJ problem, then let me ask you:

Have you had your atlas and axis checked?

Maybe you have already seen your GP, a dentist, a chiropractor, a physiotherapist, or even an ENT to find out the cause and connection between your earaches, TMJ, neck pain, and headaches.

If you have already had x-rays, CTs, or MRIs, it can be especially frustrating if the tests come back saying that, “Everything is normal” even though clearly, if you are experiencing all these problems, things are certainly NOT normal.

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If so, it is even more important that you have your atlas and axis checked, because they may well be the missing piece to the puzzle to help you experiencing relief from your earaches and TMJ pain.


How does the C1 and C2 Vertebrae affect TMJ pain and earaches?

The atlas is another name for the first cervical vertebra in your neck (C1), and the axis is another name for the second vertical vertebra (C2).

The atlas supports the weight of your skull (3-5Kg) and allows you to nod your head. The axis is the pivot point below the C1 vertebra that allows you to turn your head,


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But what does this have to do with earaches and TMJ pain?

There are several important links between the alignment and motion between your upper neck and your TMJ.


  1. Location - The tips of the C1 vertebra extend to the side of your neck only 1cm sidewards from your TMJ. If the vertebra shifts forward especially, it may irritate some of the muscles and ligaments that are located directly behind your jaw, which can cause TMJ pain.
  2. Motion - The central axis that allows your TMJ to move is actually the centre of the C2 vertebra. If the motion in your upper neck is restricted, it can affect how your TMJ moves, causing it also to misalign or even degenerate. If the jaw shifts backward, it can actually depress on the opening between your ear and the auditory canal into your skull, which may be associated with earaches and TMJ pain.
  3. Muscles - The muscles that control the movement of your jaw are influenced by the cluster of nerve cells located from the base of your brainstem that descends into your neck down to the level of C2. If these nerve supply to these muscles are affected, it can cause muscle tightness, which affects how your jaw moves. Abnormal TMJ movement can contribute towards grinding or clenching your teeth, lockjaw, or pain and tenderness when you open and close your mouth.
  4. Nerves - The sensory nerves that receive information from the back of your head, face, jaw, and neck all transmit through the C1-C2-C3 areas of your upper neck. If there is impingement, tension, or irritation to these nerves, they may well contribute or even cause problems such as headaches, neck pain, face pain, trigeminal neuralgia, migraines, fibromyalgia, TMJ pain, or also earaches. 


In brief, there is a physical relationship between the upper part of your neck - the C1 and C2 vertebra - and the normal health and function of your TMJ.

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Therefore, a problem with the alignment or movement in the upper part of your neck may well contribute towards earaches and TMJ pain.


A novel approach for treatment with Earache and TMJ pain

When it comes to treatment for earaches, TMJ pain, neck pain, and headaches, there are a number of different options including head, neck, and jaw physiotherapists, chiropractors, GP's, dentists, and also TMJ specialists.

One thing that can be especially frustrating for so many people experiencing these issues is that they do all the things they are supposed to, but still don’t experience the relief they are looking for. 

They take the medications.

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They do the exercises.

They do the treatment … but unfortunately, the problems are still there.

In truth, no one has it all 100% figured out when it comes to treatment for earaches and TMJ problems. If they did, every Brisbane specialist would be doing the same procedure with 100% success.

Nevertheless, just because one option may not work for you does not mean that there is no option. 

It is for this reason that I want to describe a novel approach to treatment with earaches and TMJ problems that is still relatively uncommon in Brisbane and even across Australia.

It is called Blair upper cervical chiropractic care. 

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Blair upper cervical care for people with Earaches and TMJ pain

Blair upper cervical care is a special division of chiropractic developed and researched in the USA. 

The focus is on the alignment of the upper vertebrae in your neck - the C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) because of their relationship on the health of your brain, nerve system, and entire body.

When the top vertebrae are aligned, Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctors believe that your body is able to function properly.

However, if these vertebrae are not aligned, they can negatively affect the flow of impulses to-and-from your body, resulting in decreased health and symptoms that may include earaches, TMJ problems, neck pain, headaches, etc.

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Unlike general spinal manipulation, a Blair upper cervical chiropractic correction does not involve any twisting, cracking, or popping.

I will repeat it: no cracking.

The key point of difference is the nature of the diagnostic tests that a Blair upper cervical chiropractor uses in order to determine just the right type of care for you.

First, your chiropractic doctor performs a series of tests assessing the health of your physical body including your jaw and face, and also the health of your nerve system.

If a problem is identified originating from your upper neck, a Blair chiropractic doctor performs a series of specialised x-rays that allow us to see the exact direction and degree of misalignment in your neck.

And these are not simply the standard x-ray, CT, or even MRI views that you have taken at a standard radiology facility. 

You see, those views are all taken from stock angles: from the front, side, and horizontally. However, humans are three-dimensional beings with unique bone structures.

As we are all different on the outside, so too are we different on the inside.

The views that a Blair chiropractic doctor requests or takes are custom-tailored just for you based on your unique bone structure. Thus, but following a precision-based approach, we are able to identify a great number of problems that have not been previously diagnosed, and thus not treated!

Because when you have the right information, it may offer a different approach to accomplishing the outcomes that you have been searching for for so long.


Where can I find a Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor to help with my Earaches and TMJ pain?

At the time of this writing (2020), there are still very few Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctors in Australia.

A grand total of FIVE.

A board-certified Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor will have accomplished post-doctoral studies beyond the normal university degree and will have also passed a certification exam through the Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Society, currently based in the USA.

(That is why there are so few.)

Also at the time of this writing, our practice, Atlas Health Australia, os the premier Blair upper cervical healthcare centre not only in Brisbane but across Queensland, Australia and New Zealand.

Our principal chiropractic doctor is  Dr. Jeffrey Hannah, who is Advanced Certified in the Blair technique and serves on the Board of Directors for the Blair Society, Intl. He is an international lecturer, instructor, author, speaker and recognises leader int eh field of upper cervical specific chiropractic care worldwide.

Serving in this role, he also knows personally every other Blair upper cervical chiropractic doctor in Australia who have either trained alongside or with him directly.

So if you are seeking help in resolving your earaches, TMJ pain, neck pain, and headaches, we would be honoured to have your consideration.

At Atlas Health, our focus is in helping people experiencing chronic health conditions - including earaches and TMJ problems who have been everyone - so that they can health and start enjoying the quality of life that they desire once more.

Our practice is located in North Lakes (north Brisbane) and sees clients from across the greater Brisbane and SE Queensland region, including many people who travel interstate and internationally.

Dr. Hannah also offers a complementary 15-minute phone consultation so that you can discuss the nature of your condition and ask any questions that you may have also that you can decide in advance if care may be right for you.

Our practice number is 07 3188 9329. Simply give us a ring, and we would be happy to arrange a consultation. 

Alternatively, you can click the Contact Us, and we will be sure to return your message a soon as possible.

We appreciate your time and consideration and hope that you have found this article to be both informative and valuable.

We look forward to working with you, and we will do our best to assist you.


Atlas Health Australia - “Hope, healing, and wellbeing from above-down, inside-out.”



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