It’s easy to determine why neck pain and jaw pain would be related – because one affects the other. If your jaw muscles are tight for whatever reason, it could in turn pull on the muscles within your neck causing quite literally…a pain in your neck.
The culprit of your jaw and neck pains could be muscular TMJ (temporomandibular joint), which is what many people commonly believe they have. It is estimated that more than 10 million Americans are currently living with TMJ disorder. TMJ is a disorder that affects your muscles and joints that connect your jawbone to the rest of your skull. These ligaments and muscles also connect to your neck for stability. Meaning, if one is affected, it is likely to affect the other.
Your jaw pain and combined neck pain could be caused by a myriad of other reasons, though. So, seeking out a doctor to assess your joint and muscle pain can help you pinpoint an exact cause and appropriate treatment. If it’s not TMJ, what else could it be?
Whether it’s the more modern ‘text neck’ or the well known diagnosis of scoliosis, a misalignment of your spine, neck, or other joints like your jaw could cause combined neck and jaw pain. Physical therapy and targeted exercises can help you correct the issue and in less severe cases, may quickly alleviate your combined pain.
The pain you are feeling in your jaw and/or your neck could be your stress and other psychological issues manifesting in a physical way. Medical experts report that many common aches that patients report are actually signs of mental distress that express themselves through pain. As with misalignment, coping mechanisms can help alleviate the pain you’re feeling, as surgery isn’t needed for this ailment.
Unfortunately, bone spurs are a physical cause of neck and jaw pain that will require more invasive treatment. Bone spurs are bony growths that take up residence on your joints or bones. Bone spurs in your neck will require surgery, most likely arthroscopically. Your orthopedic doctor will need to go in through an incision to remove the growth that is causing your pain. After a healing process, your neck and jaw pain should feel somewhat, if not entirely alleviated.
Joint and bone deficiencies can significantly affect your quality of life, but they don’t have to be permanent. To speak to our trained experts about your neck and jaw pain and get a full assessment, call Advanced Bone and Joint at (636) 224-4192 or you can request an appointment online.