Back pain can have a detrimental effect on your ability to work, relax, sleep and function in all aspects of life
The jaws, head, neck and spine are all connected, and pain often travels from its source to other parts of the body by way of nerve pathways. It might never occur to you to see a dentist about back pain, but if you’ve tried to find relief everywhere else and you’re still in pain, dental treatment might be the solution.
The spinal column and pain
The spinal column is composed of four sections. The cervical spine at the top has to hold up your head, which weighs around 10 pounds. Under normal circumstances the cervical spine should have no trouble doing this, but if something is off, like you head tilting unnaturally due to pain, it can be too much for your spine to bear and the result can be pain in your neck and down your back. Chronic headaches or neck pain can start a chain reaction of pain down your spine.
Misaligned teeth and the damage they can cause
Human jaws were designed to function with properly aligned teeth. If your teeth are not in alignment, your jaws have to work harder every time you chew or speak. This workout on your jaws can cause TMJ disorder, which is when the temporomandibular joints that allow jaw movement stop operating smoothly and cause pain and friction.
A TMJ disorder can send pain signals to your head, neck, shoulders and down your spine. Without treatment, you may fall into the habit of holding your head at the wrong angle or adjusting your posture to alleviate pain. The habit of poor posture can make you back pain worse.
TMJ treatment to relieve pain at the source
Pain can be treated with medications, but to resolve pain for the long term, the source of the problem must be discovered and treated. TMJ treatment from a dentist can guide your teeth into proper alignment to alleviate the pressure on your jaws. By eliminating the pain at the source, the chain reaction of pain down your spine can be halted.
Know the symptoms of TMJ
The most obvious TMJ symptom is pain in the jaws, but many symptoms of the disorder may not seem to be related to your jaws at all. Chronic headaches, facial pain, visual floaters and ringing in the ears can all be symptoms of TMJ.
If you have back pain and have found no relief, or if you have back pain accompanied by TMJ symptoms, call your Chicago dentist for a consultation appointment. A discussion of your symptoms and an exam can determine if you have TMJ and if a dental treatment could bring you relief.