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Are you dealing with persistent or occasional jaw pain? Hands On Healing offers hands-on therapy for relief from jaw related disorders, or TMJD.
During stressful moments, does your jaw suddenly begin to tighten up? Perhaps some teeth grinding or mild headaches to add insult to injury?
It’s likely that you’re not alone in your experience of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, or TMJD for short.
Jaw conditions are rather common and are highly compounded by other basic postural conditions. No part of the body is without it’s connected relationships and shared compensation.
In the case of TMJD, the jaw is almost always a compensation pattern in response to postural dysfunction. The jaw shares its fascial attachment as part of The Deep Front Line, which we have touched on before.
Because of the depth of the fascial tissue that connects the jaw to the rest of the body, any changes we see that affect the spine will almost certainly translate up to the head and neck, where the jaw does its best to help stabilize the cranial system.
When we investigate how our body misdirects the forces of movement and muscle contraction, we are of course recognizing that the fascia has created misalignment by applying passive force against the joints.
Jaw misalignment is multifaceted in that the jaw moves not only up and down, like when eating and talking, but also side-to-side and forward and backward.
The fascia of the deep front line connect the pterygoid muscles (pronounced pter·y·goid) to the jaw, as seen in Figure 1. (click to enlarge)
It’s these muscles that create the side to side and forward and backward movements of the jaw.
As our body’s form fascial adhesions, the tension of the deep front line is inevitably transferred to either one side of the jaw or the other, or may cause the jaw to jut forward or backward, kind of like having an overbite.
Fascial tension is of course passive and constant, and as we proceed throughout our day talking, chewing, or perhaps grinding a bit from stress, the normal up and down movement of the jaw will apply force improperly to the joint.
This could develop into any number of problems, such as:
In our line of specialized bodywork and therapy, we as therapists can manually release the inner muscles of the jaw and help maintain proper alignment of the cranial structure.
If you’ve experienced any recent problems with jaw pain or teeth grinding, ask your therapist what postural patterns in your body may be contributing to your pain and dysfunction.