Can TMJ Cause Back Pain?


Some patients who come to Dr. Phelps’s Indianapolis dental practice complaining of TMJ symptoms tend to focus on pain or feelings of resistance in their jaw and face. However, if you have TMJ, the pain and symptoms you experience can extend beyond your jaw and the surrounding areas. You may have pain in your back and neck that is caused indirectly by the stress put on your jaw muscles.

It’s important to remember that muscles in your body are interrelated and that stress in one area will cause surrounding muscles to overcompensate. The misalignment created by TMJ puts extra stress on your jaw muscles, which in turn can cause your neck muscles to work harder trying to help, which can then extend to the muscles in your back.

The end result of this is that a significant misalignment in your jaw can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain, which you may not even connect with your neuromuscular dentistry issues.

The best way to alleviate this back pain is to fix the TMJ that is causing it. Common solutions include:

  1. Wearing a mouthguard that corrects your jaw alignment
  2. Orthodontics that line up your bite
  3. Dental restorations that adjust your bite position
  4. Oral surgery

To discover if TMJ is responsible for your back and neck pain, schedule a dental consultation with John R. Phelps, DDS at his Indianapolis dental practice. You can reach our offices by filling out a form online or by calling 317-793-6133.

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