Treated by Denver TMJ Doctor, Dr. Kevin Berry
You expect that bite problems will result in jaw pain. Perhaps even headaches makes sense to you. But you may initially be surprised to learn that pain in your neck, shoulders, and back may be due to your bite. This isn’t intuitive—even for doctors—and that’s why many people who have this type of pain see many doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists without experiencing relief. A dentist might be the last person you would think could cure your back pain, but they may be the most qualified.
If you have pain in your face, neck, shoulder, or back that doctors have failed to properly diagnose or treat, TMJ may be the cause. To learn whether this is the source of your pain, please call (303) 691-0267 or email the TMJ Therapy and Treatment Center of Colorado in Denver.
How Pain Gets Passed Through the Body
We may think of our muscles as being separate and working independently, but the truth is that our muscles are interconnected. When some of your muscles are stressed, they pass that stress on. This stress can be passed on from several sources before it accumulates in the crossroads of the body, such as the neck, shoulders, and back.
Another possibility is what we call “referred pain.” In referred pain, you feel pain in a different place than the pain is being caused, because your brain is misinterpreting pain signals.
Jaw Imbalance as a Source of Pain
When your jaw muscles and jaw joint are imbalanced as a result of TMJ, they may experience excess stress, and they pass this stress on to their partners. Because your jaw muscles are called on thousands of times a day, they can accumulate a lot of stress that they can pass on to your other muscles.
Facial pain may be directly due to the overworked jaw muscles being sore themselves. Other times, it may be due to muscles, bones, or other tissues that are putting pressure on your nerves. Although it is your nerves that are hurting, your body thinks the pain is coming from places the nerves communicate from.
Neck pain is often due to sore neck muscles. Since your neck muscles are the ones that work most closely with your jaw muscles, this is a common symptom of TMJ.
Shoulder pain may be referred pain, or it may be due to shoulder muscles that are overworked because your jaw isn’t doing its job to create a stable platform for them to work from.
Back pain may be referred, may be due to an instable work platform, or may be due to an imbalanced spine attempting to make up for jaw imbalance.
We Can Help When Other Treatments Fail
If you’re suffering from face, neck, or back pain and you’ve been unable to figure out the cause, it’s likely that TMJ is the problem. To learn whether TMJ treatment can help you live pain free, please contact the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver.