TMJ - Could it just be your posture?
TMJ dysfunction affects more women than men and is typically diagnosed for the first time when patients are in their 20s-40s, though the symptoms may have existed for much longer with lesser severity. The early signs of TMJ disorder are often overlooked. For those with TMJ pain, physical therapy can help with:
- Alleviating pain
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing muscle spasms
- Releasing scar tissue when applicable
- Relaxing surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments
One of the most common causes of TMJ disorder is bad posture. Sitting at desks and hunching over keyboards can place the neck, spine and jaw at an unusual angle, putting undue pressure and strain on the area. Conditions in which arthritis is a symptom can cause pain in the jaw joint.
Stress can result in chronic jaw clenching and teeth grinding, both of which can cause damage and strain on the joint. The disc that cushions movement of the joint can become displaced, resulting in the popping and clicking noises associated with TMJ dysfunction.
More than 10 million people have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder. Other reported symptoms with the condition include jaw fatigue, particularly when chewing, along with ringing in the ears, neck pain and even dizziness.