Neck pain, Neck strain
Neck, back, shoulder pain + ‘muscle recruitment’
Your neck, back and shoulder muscles work as a team. (Throughout your body, rarely does a single muscle work without other muscles in the team joining in.) When muscles are overworked, they will ‘recruit’ additional muscles to help out – known as muscle recruitment.
Strained Neck Muscles means Bad Posture
1. When the head is centered, the spinal column is straight.
2. Muscle tension may cause the head to shift from center.
3. To compensate, the spine may begin to buckle.
4. Postural Distortion develops as the hips and shoulders begin to tip.
The muscles of the head and neck all work together in turning the head, chewing, talking and breathing. When certain muscles are overcontracted, it will affect the muscles holding up your head and supporting the shoulders and back. The recruitment of other muscles causes imbalance, which results in pain.
The bones in the neck, especially the atlas and axis, are crucial for the muscles in charge of biting, talking, chewing, breathing and head posture. Sore, tight, contracted jaw muscles will tilt the head and shoulders, causing overcompensation by the muscles in the neck, shoulder and back.
Think about it …
Your head weighs approximately 15 pounds, about the same weight as an average bowling ball. This bowling ball head is precisely and delicately balanced at the top of the spinal column by the muscles in the jaw, neck, back and shoulders.
Imagine your head as a baseball. Picture it balanced on the top of a pencil, being held in place by some rubber bands. When muscles are tense, they shorten. Now envision shortening just one of those rubber bands. Some rubber bands would then have to stretch, some would then shorten, but in either case, the baseball would be thrown completely off alignment.
It’s the same, when even a single jaw, neck or shoulder muscle is shortened – all of the other muscles are forced to compensate to keep your head in proper balance on top of your spinal column. Your overworked muscles become sore, strained, tender – causing discomfort in your neck, shoulders and back.
When you have TMJ, your unaligned bite causes a ripple effect throughout all these areas, resulting in pain and strain throughout the upper half of your body. Correcting your bite so that your muscles function properly and without additional strain may mean you can live without muscle discomfort.
If your bite is misaligned, it needs to be corrected or the problems will become more severe. Dr. Eddie Siman can provide treatment options to prevent more problems down the road.