An unlikely cause of your Chicago muscle pain and tension
When you experience muscle pain and tension, you probably think back to activities you have been involved in that may have strained your muscles. If nothing seems to add up, it may be because you are feeling pain in muscles that are actually distant from the origin of the pain. This is called referred pain. Muscle spasms, tingling or stiffness in the neck and shoulders often originates in other areas. The causes of upper body pain and headaches could be neurological or dental in origin.
Myofascial pain syndrome
Myofascial pain disorder or syndrome (MPD) is a chronic pain disorder in which you feel pain usually in the head, neck, shoulders, back and chest that is triggered by muscles in other parts of the body. Pressure on certain parts of muscles triggers pain in other areas; usually the upper body and the head, and the pain can range from mild to severe.
Temporomandibular joint disorder
Chicago TMJ or TMD is a disorder of the jaws that results from too much pressure on the jaws from chewing, swallowing or other jaw movements. TMJ is often caused by a bad bite, crooked teeth or missing teeth. TMJ can cause headaches and pain in the neck, shoulders and back.
What do MPD and TMJ have in common?
Both of these conditions can trigger headaches and pain in the face, neck and shoulders. While TMJ is actually a disorder involving the jaw joints and MPD involves pain triggers in other areas of the body, the upper body and head tend to be where the most pain in felt in both disorders. TMD is characterized by referred pain, when jaw pain triggers pain in the head or face that is along the same nerve pathways.
Diagnosing muscle pain causes
Diagnosing disorders that cause muscle pain and headaches can be complicated by the phenomenon of referred pain. A physiologic dentist can examine the teeth and jaws for signs of TMJ disorder that could be causing pain. Pain-relieving treatments for MPD may also offer relief for TMJ symptoms, but, in the case of a TMJ diagnosis, specific dental treatment may be beneficial. Treatment to straighten or restore teeth can relieve pressure on the jaws and alleviate pain.
If you are experiencing muscle pain and have been unable to find relief, call your Chicago dentist for an appointment to talk about physiologic dentistry. The connection between your jaws, muscles and nerves could be the key to finding a solution to your pain.