There is a high degree of likelihood that poor posture is related to the jaw pain and headaches associated with TMJ. The tricky question is whether TMJ is the cause of bad posture or whether bad posture is the cause of TMJ or its symptoms.
Some who argue that bad posture is the primary cause of jaw pain and headaches are advocates of an approach called the Alexander Technique, which is intended to improve posture and, therefore jaw pain and headaches. But does this technique really work?
What Is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is an approach to try to correct bad habits acquired by muscles as a result of repeated movements or actions. The theory is that you have essentially trained your muscles to perform actions that cause you pain. By learning to retrain your muscles, you can avoid much of the related pain.
In an Alexander Technique treatment, a teacher would first observe your movement patterns. Based on these observations, the teacher would then identify regions of tension in the body and recommend ways that you might change your normal movement patterns.
The Alexander Technique focuses on the centrality of the relationship between the head and neck muscles for ensuring the stability, harmony, and smooth functioning of the entire body. It is often described as a mindfulness technique, though, because its primary emphasis is on teaching people to be aware of their posture and consciously control their movements.
Does the Alexander Technique Work?
There is limited evidence for the effectiveness of the Alexander Technique. It seems that the Alexander Technique is most effective for chronic back pain, though for musicians it also seems to help with performance anxiety.
There is little to no evidence that it is effective on headaches, jaw pain, or other TMJ symptoms. This may be because it depends heavily on voluntary action, and it is hard for most people to maintain consistent, voluntary action when it comes to their posture. It may also be because the Alexander Technique neglects the role of the jaw in governing the relationship between the head and neck.
TMJ treatment helps relax muscles and gradually reverse the effects of involuntary muscle motions that can lead to tension in the head and neck, which can result in jaw pain, headaches, and other TMJ symptoms. By putting your jaw in an ideal rest position, we can make it easier for your neck muscles to maintain proper posture and reduce neck pain and back pain as well as headaches and jaw pain.
If you are looking for effective, drug-free treatment for headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, back pain, and other symptoms, please call (610) 272-0828 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.