Your neck feels tight? But what about your jaw?

By: Brice Bonnard, Osteopath

An important part of a patient's neck pain or tension headaches includes underlying jaw issues - TMJ discomfort, grinding teeth, teeth pain. Is this true in your case?

All of the muscles and joints in relation to your jaw and your bite have a mechanical link with your spine, and therefore each movement of your jaw will have an impact on your spinal alignment.
 
Try to open your mouth wide and then turn your head to the right and to the left. Now close your mouth and do the same movement.  Did you get the same range of motion? More or less pain depending on the jaw's position?

If you're feeling a difference between the two positions, the tensions of your jaw may be having an impact on your neck and spine.  These types of tension could come from old dental work (unbalanced filling size, braces, wisdom teeth extraction...), facial trauma, bad posture at your desk, or clenching teeth.

When you slowly close your mouth, can you feel all of your teeth touching at the same time? Can you feel a different contact between the right and the left side? 

In osteopathy, we can use all of this information to get a global assessment of your upper spine issues and to recommend a long term solution. Grinding teeth (also called bruxism) is another ongoing, often underlying, alignment issue and a global approach is necessary to get permanent effects.

Colin Malval, a French Osteopath, wrote a book about bruxism to propose an holistic understanding of the process. I strongly recommend this book to every patient looking for an integrative solution to bruxism

If you are intersted in booking learning about Brice and his practice, check out his bio here
http://www.osteotoronto.com/

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