Stand up straight…
can’t you just hear your mother’s voice
While we’ve been told for years not to slouch and to stand up straight, it turns out your poor posture might be related to your TMJ.
First of all, our basic lifestyle is a huge factor in our poor posture. More than any generation before us, we spend a great portion of our day sitting. We spend more time watching T.V. and have jobs that require us to be sitting at a desk, in front of a computer. We are much more inactive than our parents and our grandparents. Think about your lifestyle. Think about the postures you take on throughout your day. Interesting, isn’t it?
So, how does TMJ affect posture?
The bones in your neck, especially the atlas and axis, are intimately involved with the muscles that control biting, talking, chewing, breathing and head posture. Sore, tight muscles in your jaw will tilt the head and shoulders, which causes over-compensation in the muscles in your shoulder, neck and back. If you have anuneven bite then your muscle tension and activity will also be uneven. When those muscles are over-used it‘pulls’ the muscles that hold up your head, creating a forward-facing posture. You look like you are slouching or drooping.
This drooping action is imitated down your body, pulling at your face, neck, shoulder and back muscles. As a result, you can have one hip or shoulder higher than the other, you can have irregular facial features and it can give someone a buck-tooth appearance. When your entire body is out of whack, it can limit your overall physical and athletic performance. You will find yourself more lethargic and tired throughout your day. Yoursense of balance, strength and control will be diminished and you will take way more effort to accomplish a couple simple things.
If you think you may be experiencing postural problems and/or TMJ, don’t wait until the problem becomes more critical. Book an appointment with Dr. Stirneman and he can help you determine what’s causing your problems.