Re: Herniated Cervical Disc - and TMJ
I don't know - sounds like the chicken and egg routine in determining which came first. A dentist might say a shifting bite or tm joint problem caused the discs to herniate by putting pressure on the c-spine and a chiro might say it was a disc issue to begin with which pushed the c-spine and then the jaw out of alignment. In terms of percentages - most people who have suffered some sort of previous injury or accident - even years ago - have a greater chance of developing neck and back problems or tmj later on.
For me - I had several accidents resulting in facial trauma, experienced several pinched nerves and sciatica, sprains, etc with no long lasting repurcusions but when the tmj pain and jaw dysfunction started it took almost 4 weeks before it affected my neck and then moved down the spine - I was about 3 months into it when I had an MRI done which showed discs C4,5 and 6 herniated - so even though some chiros suggested it originated from my back the sequence of events told me it originated from my jaw and then down the c-spine and spine. Plus given my extensive dental work and lack of previous back and neck symptoms it made more sense that this was due to a jaw, occlusion or facial muscle issues.
So maybe looking back at both your physical/medical and dental history may help determine where this stemmed from but as one dr told me - does it matter? since both issues have to be addressed simultanelously since they are or have become inter-related.