As a physical therapist, I often hear from my clients, “I sit at a desk all day and I know I have horrible posture. That’s probably why my neck hurts, right?”. This idea generally comes from social media posts, posture “corrector” gadgets, and posture being the historical blame for every neck and back issue if you have a desk job. But here is the kicker — there is no perfect posture. That’s right, I said it. And this is what I reiterate to my physical therapy clients time and time again to break the negative cycle about posture being the cause of their pain.
Like most joints, things pop, click, grind, and tell us we’re still alive! The jaw joint or TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) is no different. It may start to make noises or feel differently when opening your mouth. But what are those noises? And when are they bad?
TMJ. What is it good for? Absolutely everything!
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a fancy word for the space between your jaw and your skull. You have two of them, one on either side of your face.
The TMJ is a wonderful thing when it works correctly. It allows you to talk, eat, drink, chew, sing, laugh, yawn, and breathe through your mouth. You get the point, it does a lot. The joint itself is small but really strong. In fact, it can endure up to 250 pounds!
So how does something so strong get hurt so often? TMJ disorder (TMJD) actually ranks second only to low back pain, as the most prevalent musculoskeletal problem in the United States!