One thing that dentists, physicians, physical therapists, chiropractors, and yoga instructors all agree on is that having ideal posture (also referred to as a “neutral spine”) is key to a person’s overall wellbeing. How can this be?
The Domino Effect:
Forward head posture (hunching over) can cause the lower jaw to shift forward, which, in turn, and lead to improper fitting of the top and the bottom teeth, and eventually cause Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD).
The body posture creates a domino effect in the body. The skull tilts backward on the spine, and the upper body drifts backward. To compensate for these shifts, the hips tilt forward. All these movements put stress on muscles and joints, including the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) that, without treatment, can lead to inflammation of the muscles and the jaw joints.
What’s the Solution?
Often, the best solution is a multifaceted apparoach, a combination of dental, medical, and physical therapies:
A properly balanced oral appliance can help realign the teeth in a position that can reduce jaw pain and headaches caused by poor posture, and prevent future damage and wear of the teeth caused by Bruxism (clenching and grinding of the teeth).
Chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy can help reduce painful TMD symptoms.
Massage therapy can help release tight and knotted muscles at trigger points around the jaw and neck, and ease pain.
Regular yoga exercise can help reduce pain and improve posture.
So, it may sound like an unusual approach, but, the next time you have head pain or jaw pain, look to your posture for a solution—and don’t hesitate to discuss it with your dentist and your healthcare provider!
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