Disclaimer: These preliminary ‘Self Tests’ may help you understand that though pain can be a significant indicator, it is not the only signal for TMJ dysfunction. A final diagnosis will be required by a professional like Dr. Eddie Siman. If you feel severe pain or you know you cannot do some of these exercises please do not attempt them.
- Stand in front of a mirror with your feet shoulder width apart, or have someone take a photo of you standing in front of a wall.
- Close your eyes and turn your head as far as you can to the left, then the right. Then look up as high as you can and down as low as you can.
- After each move, open your eyes and look in the mirror or have someone take a photo.
Check your shoulders. Are they even? If they’re not, take a look at your neck to see how it’s compensating. It will probably twist or bend to make up for your uneven shoulders. Ouch! That’s a pain in the neck waiting to happen.
Where’s your head? If your shoulders are uneven, your head will often tilt because your eyes want to be level. Your eyes, and your ears need to be level because they help you balance. Mess up that balance and you will be dizzy.
Is your head off center? When your head is tilted, it compensated by turning either left or right to center itself.
All the little favors your body does to keep you upright and moving solidly take extra muscle effort. Over time, the constant, strain your uneven posture puts on your head, neck and vertebrae will lead to pain and damage.