TMJ manifests itself in many ways. A common symptom of TMJ is neck pain. Many patients do not realize this and often wind up going to medical physicians in search for some answers to no avail (please note: not all neck pain is TMJ related, although it is very common).
A common scenario is a patient who has TMJ or a bad bite problems which often causes the patients to have what is called Forward Head Posture (FHP). This occurs for a variety of reasons, however, the end result is that for every 1 inch forward the head moves it puts 15 more pounds of pressure on the neck! This in turn can cause other postural changes including shoulder issues.
The neck muscles are now having to support the additional load of the misaligned head. The overload can then lead to loss of normal lordosis of the neck and more pain.It is for these reasons that it is essential that dentists who have special interests in treating TMJ have a full understanding of these postural issues and how it needs to be addressed in order to achieve a more stable long term results for their patients. Sometimes, TMJ treatment to reposition the lower jaw combined with physical therapy or osteopathic care can work in tandem to help patients.