Like your mother said: “Stand up straight!”
Turns out, your poor posture may not be your fault. In general, our overall lifestyle contributes to poor posture. We spend a great portion of our day sitting or performing tasks that require bending forward or lifting. We spend more time watching T.V. and have jobs and hobbies that require us to be sitting at a desk, in front of a computer.
We are much more sedentary than generations that came before us. Think about your lifestyle. Think about the postures you assume and the activities you perform each day. Interesting, isn’t it?
TMJ plays with your posture
In addition to our already predisposition to poor posture, TMJ can greatly affect your postural appearance, not just of the head and neck but of your entire body.
The bones in the neck, especially the atlas and axis, are intimately involved with the muscles that control biting, talking, chewing, breathing and head posture. Sore, tight, contracted muscles of the jaw will tilt the head and shoulders causing compensation in the neck, shoulder and back muscles.
If you have an unbalanced bite, then your muscle tension and activity will also be unbalanced. When those muscles are over-contracted, it impacts and ‘pulls’ the muscles that hold up your head creating a forward-facing posture. It makes it look as though you are slouching.
This slouching action is mimicked down your body, pulling and stressing your face, neck, shoulder and back muscles. It can result in having one shoulder or hip higher than the other, having facial features that are uneven and can give someone a buck-tooth appearance.
When your entire body is not lining up properly, it can an decrease on your overall physical and athletic performance. You will find yourself increasingly sluggish and tired throughout your day. Your sense of balance, control and strength will be diminished and you will have to exert more effort to do simple things.
If you think you may be experiencing postural problems and/or TMJ, don’t let it wait until the problems become more serious. Book a consultation with Dr. Westman to determine what the causes might be.