How TMJ Affects Posture and Causes Neck and Shoulder Pain

How TMJ Affects Posture and Causes Pain

Many patients present TMJ or facial pain and are not aware that this is often causing their neck pain , shoulder and postural pain as well.  From the diagram above it is easy to see how issues of the head/jaw affect the entire body. TMJ often alters the neck posture as patients can develop a forward head posture to try and compensate for their jaw pain or it is a compensatory mechanism to open the airway for oxygen.  Somtimes TMJ can cause rotation of C1/C2 which further causing sidebending of the head.  This in turn places strain on the neck muscles which then strain the shoulder and even the hips. Interestingly, some patients have short leg syndrome which can also cause these problems. So how does neuromuscular TMJ treatment help with these issues?  Your TMJ dentist should always exam your posture, head position, neck rotation, and shoulder or hip drops.  If these exists they need to be treated along with the jaw other times they will self correct with an appropriate neuromuscular appliance is fabricated.  A neuromuscular dental appliance is not an arbitrary appliance that is placed in ones mouth.  Rather, sophisticated computer assisted technology is employed to allow us to see what the muscles are doing and where the teeth should be when the muscles are at rest.  This is done with EMG’s which are similar to EKG’s used by cardiologist.  Electronic jaw tracking is also used along with many other scans that give us information as to where the jaw should be so that the head and neck muscles can return to an unstrained position.  However, sometimes, it is necessary to work with a physical therapist to do distractions of the ligaments to unlock chronic postural issues. We utilize different techniques and treatments depending on the individuals TMJ symptoms and problems.  If you have any questions about Houston TMJ or Houston Cosmetic Dentistry, please do not hesitate to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF  713-668-2289

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