Jaw Imbalance Poses Problems for Upper Body
The jaw is an important platform for the stability of your upper body. When your jaw is stable, it helps your body stabilize the core, from your head to your back. In turn, this helps your body leverage its full strength for all your daily tasks.
An imbalanced jaw, on the other hand, makes it hard to leverage your strength. Think about how hard it is to lift a heavy box onto a shelf in the back of the closet if you are leaning over toys, boxes, or other obstacles. It’s a lot harder.
When your jaw is imbalanced, the body tries to rectify the imbalance in many ways. The muscles of your head and neck have to work harder. This in turn makes shoulder and back muscles work harder, too. The imbalance in the jaw can also lead to uneven vertebrae in the neck, which contributes to poor posture and can propagate the imbalance all the way down your spine. This can lead to more strain in the shoulders and upper back.
Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions
In addition, there’s the potential for what are described as chronic overlapping pain conditions (COPC), which includes not only TMJ, but also migraines and lower back pain. It is believed that these conditions might be related to sensitization in the brain. A pain condition like TMJ might make your brain “primed for pain,” which makes it more likely to interpret even normal sensations as being painful. Although chronic lower back pain has less overlap with TMJ than with other pain conditions, about 30% of people with TMJ develop back pain.
Treating TMJ early can help you avoid sensitization. Even later treatment can help reduce your overall burden.
Treating Shoulder and Back Pain in Fort Atkinson
For many people shoulder and back pain isn’t an independent condition. Instead, these can be symptoms of the radiating effects of TMJ.
The good news is that TMJ treatment can help control these symptoms as it helps treat jaw pain and headaches.
The first step is getting an accurate diagnosis. To be tested for TMJ, please call (920) 563-7323 today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Stafford at Bite Align in Fort Atkinson, WI.