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If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your jaw until there’s a problem. And even then, it’s not usually the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to neck pain. But the truth is, your jaw can play a major role in how your neck feels. In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways jaw issues can cause or contribute to neck pain. We’ll also discuss some of the treatment options available for both conditions. So if you’re dealing with neck pain and are wondering if your jaw might be to blame, keep reading!

As a general rule, neck pain can be caused by jaw problems because tension and strain are prevalent in the muscles connecting the jaw and the neck. This problem is known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). In fact, seventy per cent of neck complaints are related to TMD.

The importance of understanding the connection between jaw issues and neck pain cannot be overstated. As someone who has practised for three decades treating neck and jaw pain, designed ergonomic solutions and written about this issue in a book, I know firsthand how debilitating this can be. The good news is that there are solutions! In my YouTube video with a Jaw surgeon (Dr David Arteaga MD), we discuss some of the common causes of jaw pain and what you can do to find relief. We also talk about the importance of ergonomics in preventing jaw pain. I will go into even more detail about the connection between jaw problems and neck pain, as well as provide specific solutions to help you find relief. If you’re suffering from jaw or neck pain, you must read this article!

tmj neck model

What Helps Tmj Neck Pain?

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who experience TMJ neck pain, you know how debilitating it can be. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to get relief. 

Here are three tips to help you find the relief you need:

Get the Right Pillow

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According to cranial nerve expert, Dr Bernadette Woods, if you’re suffering from TMJ neck pain, one of the best things you can do is to get the right pillow. A pillow that’s too soft or too hard can aggravate the condition. Look for a pillow that’s specifically designed for people with TMJ. The ideal pillow will cradle your shoulder, align your neck and shoulder posture, and have a cutout for your jaw. It should also be made of natural latex for pressure support. With the right pillow, you can finally get the relief you need from TMJ neck pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Sure You Have a Good Posture

sitting posture good vs bad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As anyone who has ever suffered from TMJ knows, the pain can be debilitating. The good news is that there are steps you can take to help relieve the pain. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you have good posture. Slouching puts unnecessary strain on your jaw and can make the pain worse. Practice good posture throughout the day, and be especially mindful of it when you’re sleeping.

close up picture of a man sitting on ergonomic seat wedge

The easiest way to correct posture is with an ergonomic seat cushion designed to stabilize your core and reverse the forward head position. By taking these simple steps, you can help to ease your TMJ pain and get on with your life.

Solutions to Relieve the Inflammation

If you’re dealing with inflammation, there are a number of solutions that can help. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful, but medically designed ice packs and heat packs are critical. This is a simple solution to promote healing recovery and reliable pain management for those suffering from jaw pain. 

Here is my favourite choice:

As a small family business, FaceWrap System strives to be impeccable in each aspect of our business dealings and patient interaction. These doctors recognize that pain, both chronic and post-operative, is debilitating and discouraging. For this reason, they offer our clients an easy to use and affordable medical device that can make a world of difference. The FaceWrap System is a versatile ice pack system that can be used for hot or cold therapy. hot cold face wrap

 

With these three tips, you can find the relief you need from TMJ neck pain. Get the right pillow, practise good posture, and look for solutions to relieve the inflammation, and you’ll be on your way to feeling better soon.

re therm packs

What Does It Mean When Your Neck and Jaw Hurt?

There are many possible causes of neck and jaw pain. Some common causes include:

-whiplash

-strained or injured muscles

-arthritis

-dental problems

-TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder

If you are experiencing neck and jaw pain, it is essential to consult with a medical professional to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment. In some cases, neck and jaw pain may indicate a more severe condition, such as a stroke, so it is vital to seek medical attention if you experience sudden or severe symptoms.

Are Neck Muscles Connected to Jaw?

neck, TMJ, Jaw muscles

The neck and jaw are connected by several muscles, ligaments, and bones. The main muscle groups that connect the neck to the jaw are the masseter (chewing) muscles and the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle. These muscles work together to allow you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth.

The SCM muscle (located behind the ear) runs down the side of your neck and attaches to your collarbone. The masseter muscles attach from your cheekbone to your jaw. These muscles are responsible for the majority of the movement of your jaw.

Can TMJ Affect Your Neck and Shoulder?

TMJ neck shoulder pain and treatment

The short answer is yes, TMJ can affect your neck and shoulder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth. If this joint becomes inflamed or damaged, it can cause a lot of pain in your jaw, neck, and shoulder. TMJ disorder is a common cause of jaw pain and neck pain.

Can TMJ Cause Chronic Neck Pain?

Chronic neck pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than three months. TMJ disorder can indeed cause chronic neck pain. The TMJ is connected to many muscles, ligaments, and bones in the neck. When the TMJ is inflamed or damaged, it can cause these other structures to become inflamed or damaged, leading to chronic neck pain. If you are experiencing chronic neck pain, it is essential to consult with a medical professional to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

Can TMJ Mess with Your Neck?

TMJ disorder can cause a great deal of pain in your jaw, neck, and shoulder. This is because the TMJ is connected to several muscles, ligaments, and bones in the neck. When the TMJ is inflamed or damaged, it can cause these other structures to become inflamed or damaged, leading to pain in your neck

Can a Pinched Neck Nerve Cause Jaw Pain?

man jaw, TMJ, neck pain

A pinched neck nerve can indeed cause jaw pain. This is because the nerves that run through your neck connect to your jaw. When a nerve in your neck is pinched, it can cause pain to radiate into your jaw. If you are experiencing jaw pain, it is essential to consult with a medical professional to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

Can Jaw Clenching Cause Stiff Neck?

Jaw clenching can cause several problems, including neck pain. The reason is that when you clench your jaw, you are putting a great deal of pressure on your muscles, ligaments, and bones. This pressure can lead to pain and stiffness in your neck. If you are experiencing neck pain, it is essential to consult with a medical professional to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment.

How Can I Relieve Jaw Pain and Neck Pain?

Jaw pain and neck pain can be caused by several factors, including poor posture, teeth grinding, and TMJ disorders. However, there are several things you can do to relieve the pain:

  1. Make sure you’re using the right pillow. If your head isn’t properly supported while you sleep, it can lead to pain in the morning.
  2. Practice good posture during the day. Slouching puts unnecessary strain on your neck and jaw muscles, so try to sit straight as often as possible.
  3. Ice/heat face wrap pads can help to reduce inflammation and ease the pain.
  4. Consider chiropractic care. A trained chiropractor can provide adjustments that will take pressure off of your jaw and neck muscles, providing relief.

What Causes Neck Shoulder and Jaw Pain?

jaw TMJ neck pain

There are many possible causes of neck, shoulder, and jaw pain. Some common causes include:

-strained or injured muscles

-arthritis

-dental problems

-TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder

Can TMJ Affect Your Neck and Shoulder?

The short answer is yes, TMJ can affect your neck and shoulder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down, side to side, and back and forth. If this joint becomes inflamed or damaged, it can cause a lot of pain in your jaw, neck, and shoulder. This is because the TMJ is connected to several muscles, ligaments, and bones in the neck. When the TMJ is inflamed or damaged, it can cause these other structures to become inflamed or damaged, leading to pain in your neck and shoulder.

Conclusion

If you’re experiencing neck pain, it’s important to rule out any potential causes, including jaw problems. There are a number of treatment options available for both conditions, so be sure to consult with your doctor to find the best solution for you. And if you’re looking for more information on how to prevent or treat neck pain, be sure to check out our other blog posts on ergonomics!

 

Sources:

  1. Bordoni, B. and Varacallo, M., 2019. Anatomy, head and neck, temporomandibular joint.
  2. Rantala, M.A., Ahlberg, J., Suvinen, T.I., Nissinen, M., Lindholm, H., Savolainen, A. and Könönen, M., 2003. Temporomandibular joint related painless symptoms, orofacial pain, neck pain, headache, and psychosocial factors among non-patients. Acta Odontologica Scandinavica61(4), pp.217-222.
  3. van Selms, M.K., Wiegers, J.W., van der Meer, H.A., Ahlberg, J., Lobbezoo, F. and Visscher, C.M., 2020. Temporomandibular disorders, pain in the neck and shoulder area, and headache among musicians. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation47(2), pp.132-142.
  4. Svensson, P., Wang, K., Sessle, B.J. and Arendt-Nielsen, L., 2004. Associations between pain and neuromuscular activity in the human jaw and neck muscles. Pain109(3), pp.225-232.
  5. Evcik, D. and Aksoy, O., 2000. Correlation of temporomandibular joint pathologies, neck pain and postural differences. Journal of physical therapy science12(2), pp.97-100.