The interplay of spinal and jaw pain and how your environment impacts both

March 28, 2024

Spinal and jaw pain are some of the most prevalent musculoskeletal issues in Australia. Over 80% of Australians will encounter some form of spinal pain during their lifetimes (The Medical Journal 2009), while up to 12% of the population will suffer from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) discomfort (Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2018). Both spine and jaw pain can be aligned, and therefore, impact each other. 

Understanding the connective links of pain

Spinal pain can come from many different sources, like poor posture, strain of muscles, or herniated discs. It can be debilitating and impact mood, productivity, and the ability to perform daily tasks. When it comes to spinal health, TMJ pain is often overlooked. TMJ disorders can manifest in severe jaw pain, clicking in the jaw, chewing difficulty, and issues with functions such as speaking and eating.

You may not know it, but adjusted ergonomics can play an important role in mitigating both spinal and TMJ issues. Your posture can greatly impact your body over time, causing strain to your muscles and tendons, and places stress on the vertebrae. This can lead to ongoing issues, such as misalignments and muscle imbalances that develop over time. Maintaining simple habits such as good posture, investing in an ergonomic set, and taking the time for regular breaks can help relieve the build up of strain on the jaw and spine.

How our team can help

The team of experienced physiotherapists at SportsCare Canberra use an evidence-based approach to effectively address back and neck pain, as well as musculoskeletal injuries such as TMJ discomfort.

By initiating treatment through a physiotherapist, you can stop the injury from getting worse, and the tension from becoming more embedded in the body, creating potential long-term damage. Through comprehensive assessments with our clients, we create personalised and tailored treatment plans that outline the next steps to lead them to their best path to recovery. Whether that is therapeutic exercises, stretching, or massage, our team is dedicated to ensuring our clients are feeling their best.

If you’re feeling spinal or jaw pain, contact us or book an appointment at one of our physiotherapists to find out how we can help you.