Neck Pain , Shoulder Pain, Back Pain

TMD Symptoms


Your neck, back and shoulder muscles work as a team. Seldom does a single muscle work without other muscles balancing or stabilizing its function.

Often, overworked muscles will recruit additional muscles to help out. This is known as muscle recruitment. And it can lead to structural stain up and down the body.

Strained Head and Neck Muscles Affect Posture

  • A entered head and neck is important for a proper spinal column alignment.
  • Muscle tension of the jaw and a malocclusion (bad bite) can shift the head’s balance on the neck vertebrae.
  • To compensate the spine begins to buckle or twist.
  • Postural Distortion develops as the shoulders and hips begin to tip under the complex muscle strain and creates a variety of different outcomes.

Head and neck muscles are involved in turning the head, eating, breathing and talking. Over-worked jaw muscles can affect the neck muscles that hold up your head. It can affect those muscles and structures that support the shoulders and back too. The recruitment of other muscles can end in an imbalance, and result in strain and pain.

The Atlas and Axis (top two neck vertebrae) are intimately involved with these muscle functions:

  • biting
  • talking
  • chewing
  • breathing
  • head posture

Sore, strained and fatigued muscles of the jaw can create posture accommodation that tilts the head and shoulders. This causes overcompensation of the neck, shoulder and back muscles.

bad posture calgary

Jaw muscle pain and your TMJ

Similarly, when even a single jaw, neck or shoulder muscle becomes fatigued – other muscles are forced to compensate to keep the head balanced on top of your spinal column. Your newly overworked muscles become strained, sore and tender – making them uncomfortable in your neck, shoulders and back.

When you have malocclusion creating a TMJ Disorder, your misaligned bite causes a ripple effect throughout all these regions and it results in pain and strain throughout the top half of your body. Correcting or balancing your bite so that your muscles can function properly and without additional strain can be the difference between living with muscle discomfort or with relaxed, properly functioning muscles.

TMD pain – How your bite can cause back pain

A “bad bite” (what dentists refer to as a malocclusion) often causes an imbalance in the jaw-to-skull relationship, which in turn twists the jaw into a strained position that creates pain to the muscles in the neck, shoulders, and back.

Pain can occur in the upper back as well as the lower back.

Muscles work as a team. The vertebrae in the neck, especially the upper two vertebrae called the Atlas and Axis, are intimately involved with the muscles for chewing, biting, talking, breathing, and head posture. Sore, tight, contracted muscles of the jaw may tilt the head and shoulders causing compensation from neck, shoulder and back muscles and neck and back vertebrae.

The bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in the face and neck have a complex relationship. They work to correct the bite, relieving strain on the jaw and the surrounding muscles. Some dentists may choose to take a neuromuscular (physiologic or balanced) approach to providing improved balance to their patient’s occlusion. This can be one of many TMJ Disorder treatment options for their patients.

jaw pain

Unbalanced posture

Unbalanced posture that may cause back pain can also affect the head and neck alignment and even the way the teeth occlude (close together). Standing, walking or sitting in an uneven position can cause the jaw muscles to be unbalanced – the surrounding structures may experience signs of stress, including pain, swelling and discomfort.

Because the jaw muscles work with other head and neck muscles, symptoms of jaw distress may surface in the head, neck, shoulders. Neck pain symptoms can be a common sign of a dental malocclusion causing TMD as the neck muscles become overworked and fatigued trying to balance the head posture being thrown off by stressed/fatigued bite muscles.

bad posture

“How can you relieve my pain?” TMJ Pain Calgary Care



Once the bite realigns, pain in many areas of the body may disappear. Book a consultation with us if you think you have a TMJ Disorder problem. Learn how relieving neck, shoulder, and back pain can improve your well being. Serious issues prevented by  treating TMJD early is important for your health and TMJ pain Calgary care. Schedule a consultation or call us at 403 262-9898 today.