The TMJ Soouch
Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Here is one theory about SOME causes of TMJ issues: Postural muscles are all ultimately connected to your neck and head musculature. Tension in a series of agonists (muscles that work together) and in antagonists (muscles that work opposite of each other) relay that tension along the entirety of the chain of musculature that is utilized in our daily activities. This means that poor posture while sitting at our desks or standing, is capable of causing a line of tension from the legs, arms, to the spine and up the spine through the neck and into the head and jaw.
Think about this slouchy position… the red arrows are showing the way the joints are turning at that point, see, the back of the head is tilting up because the shoulders are tilting forward and down. This places the muscles at the back of the head, along with the upper back and shoulders in a strained position, and the tension is felt up the back of the head, and into the temporal muscles which then tell the masseter and buccanator and several other mouth muscles to tighten up as well. The arms are turned in, shortening the front of the upper arms and pectorals etc. As these become “stuck” fascially, the ache becomes chronic and at some point we either no longer pay attention to it, or it becomes excruciating. What is going on below the shoulders is not really positive for your health either.
In this posture, the lungs and stomach are squashed as the ribs come forward and down, the mid back and upper back muscles are operating from what I call “tippy toes” position because they are elongated due to the slouch. This slouch may lead to digestive disorders, breathing trouble, and clearly pain in the neck and back.
As we look farther down the body, we may find other muscular and joint issues and pain- including at the feet! Think about that! The feet are the BEGINNING of the muscular effort to hold us up while we are walking and standing! To ignore the role of healthy feet and comfortable shoes is to over look an important aspect of our stability. Here, again, regular therapeutic massage and specific types of focused exercise may help you to balance the musculature of the lower extremities and ease the strain on the upper body. So What are YOU waiting for?