Is your TMJ Issue Related to Your Pelvic Floor?

Do you have a clicking or pain in your jaw while eating?

Do you constantly feel like you’re not able to open your jaw wide enough to chew?

Do you have any pelvic pain, bladder urgency or leakage, or constipation?

Did you know that ALL of this is connected!?

We commonly see leakage, pelvic pain, and constipation related to jaw and neck tension! In this post we will cover how TMJ pain can impact your pelvic floor and what we can do to help!

The TMJ-Pelvic Floor Connection

You might be wondering what the jaw has to do with your pelvic floor! Here are the ways that your body connects: 

  • Anatomy! Your jaw and pelvic floor muscles that control bladder/bowel continence are formed at the same time in gestation! This is called an embryological connection. This is why the anatomy of these muscles is very similar. The vocal folds are on the left and pelvic floor is on the right! 

  • Posture. Posture connections are so important to be aware of in your day to day functions. Forward rounded posture can cause a lot of tension and shortening in muscles throughout the chest, neck and shoulders. This can put more tension through your SCM, UT, and upper mid back and strain the alignment of the jaw. 

  • Vagus nerve connection. Your Vagus nerve is a cranial nerve (meaning it branches off of the brain!). It is a part of the parasympathetic nervous system that helps our bodies RELAX and feel safe! This also affects GI function (hello constipation!) It travels through the above mentioned muscles in the neck, down your spine in mid back and then branches to the abdominal cavity. If your jaw or neck is tense/painful, it is going to have an effect on your ability to activate your parasympathetic system which is VERY important for pelvic floor function! 

  • Breathing connection. When you come into the clinic, you will notice that we examine and talk to you about your breathing patterns. If you are a “shallow breather” you will use more of your upper chest and add more tension to these neck/jaw/facial muscles. Shallow breathing also adds to tension through your vocal folds and also to pelvic floor muscles!

How We Can Help

It is VITAL for you to see a provider that is going to examine your body as a whole to help you understand how everything is connected! 

Along with examining and treating your baseline function of the above areas, we also add in a variety of manual treatments including dry needling, soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilizations in the jaw/neck, cupping or IASTM (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization). This will be followed by re-balancing exercises to get you back to feeling like yourself! 

We offer:

  • Free Pelvic Floor Screens
  • 1:1 visits
  • Therapeutic Massage
  • Trigger Point Dry Needling

Learn more about our services

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Written by Dr. Rachel Hall