Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA
“Stand up straight.” Someone probably told you this growing up… likely more times than you wanted to hear it. We hate to break it to you, but they were right. Whether sitting or standing, your posture can have a significant impact on your health and wellness. Poor posture even can be the culprit of frequently occurring, painful headaches. Your holistic dentists in Agoura Hills at Integrative Dental Arts would like to explain the link between posture and headaches, and how we can help treat these headaches and provide lasting relief.
Most headaches occur because of tension
When muscles become tense, tight, or contract, they can cause tension headaches, which are estimated to occur in three of every four adults in America. This muscle tightness may emanate from the head, neck, or even the shoulders. When you have a tension headache, it may feel like there is a rubber band wrapped too tight around your head.
Many times, poor posture leads to muscle tension or tightness that cause a tension headache. How you walk, sit, or even hold your phone or type on your computer … all of these can contribute to headaches. Having poor posture on a regular basis overworks your muscles, as they attempt to adapt to the additional constraints that are being placed upon them.
You may be having posture problems and never realize it
There are a couple of simple tests you can perform at home to determine if you have posture issues. First, while reading this article, attempt to drop your shoulders. If you are sitting up straight, your shoulders should not drop at all or very little if you are practicing good posture. If your shoulders drop a significant distance, then you have poor posture, which can aggravate muscles and irritate your spine and the discs in your back.
Next, attempt to sit up straight, roll your shoulders, and drop them. Are you slouching when you attempt to do this? Slouching when you sit brings your shoulders forward and can compromise the musculature of your neck because of its awkward positioning. The longer you sit and slouch, the more stressed your muscles become, making a headache more likely to develop—and more painful when it occurs.
Did you know that poor posture could affect your oral health as well?
It’s true. If you have posture problems, the positioning of the spine can cause undue stress on joints throughout your body—including the jaw joints. Specifically, slouching or hunching on a regular basis can make the lower jaw shift forward, affecting the alignment of your bite and even leading to the development of temporomandibular joint disorder. Also known as TMJ disorder or TMD, this condition can compress or aggravate the surrounding muscles and joints. TMJ disorder also can cause painful tension headaches that occur on a regular basis and may be misidentified as migraines.
At Integrative Dental Arts, we can treat TMJ disorder and other jaw problems through a non-invasive course of oral appliance therapy. This entails providing the patient with a custom-made oral appliance. When worn, this oral appliance guides your jaws back into their preferred alignment, aligning your neck and even your spine. Ready to find out more? Call our office at (818) 889-0400 to schedule a consultation if you live in the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village in southern California.