Posture, Neck and TMJ Pain
By Reza Ghannadan
Posture, neck and jaw (TMJ) pain are often linked to one another. Having poor posture, sitting for long and interrupted periods and neck tension often may lead to or be a consequence of jaw pain. In fact, one study found pain in the neck region was found to be associated with jaw disorders 70% of the time. While one condition doesn’t necessarily cause the other, one study found that as the level of neck disability increases, so does the level of jaw disability.
We are not sure why neck and jaw pain are related. Perhaps given their close proximity, pain in the neck can travel to the jaw, or vice versa. There are nerves and muscles that connect one region to the other, so this may be one reason why they are often related. Also, sitting for long and uninterrupted periods can cause the neck muscles to become stiff, which in turn may lead to jaw tension and/or teeth clenching/grinding.
What you can do to minimize neck and jaw pain:
– Take standing rest breaks every 45 minutes. The best posture is the next posture, so change your posture frequently (eg., if you are sitting for 45 minutes, then stand, or vice versa). Use an alarm on your phone to remind you.
– Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth. This helps decrease tension in your jaw and may limit clenching
– Maintain 2mm between your teeth to minimizing clenching
– Stress management is important, so ensure you are taking steps to manage your stress
– See a physiotherapist to teach you exercises for your neck, posture and jaw
If you are dealing with neck and jaw pain, it is best to see a physiotherapist with training in treating both. Our Physiotherapist Reza Ghannadan has training in managing both jaw and neck pain and will provide you with a treatment plan to aid in your recovery.
QubeCore Sports & Rehab offers physiotherapy in North Vancouver for a wide range of injuries and conditions. To book your appointment with our experienced physiotherapists, call 604.210.2274 or simply BOOK ONLINE.