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TMJ Symptoms: Neck and Shoulder Pain

San Antonio, Texas

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) is not a single disorder, but a group of painful conditions that affect your jaw joint and chewing muscles. Because the muscles in your face and jaw are intertwined, if your jaw is misaligned, it can lead to a series of problems from your head to your back and beyond.

Because TMJ can disguise itself as many other conditions, it is hard to tell exactly how many people suffer from the disorder. However, statistics do show that TMJ seems to affect about two times as many women as it does men.

Neck and Shoulder Pain from TMJ

If your jaw bone does not close evenly, this can create pain in your neck and shoulders. When the jaw muscles function inefficiently, the surrounding tissue may experience:

  • Chronic stress
  • Pain
  • Swelling

Since your jaw muscles run from one ear to the other, and interact with muscles in the neck which are largely responsible for holding the spine in alignment, symptoms of jaw distress may surface in the neck and shoulders. If you are experiencing unexplained pain in your neck and/or shoulders, you may be suffering from TMJ.

To enable you to chew and close your mouth properly, your jaw muscles may be working overtime to try and keep your head posture in balance. When these muscles become fatigued it can send pain down your neck and into your shoulders and back. The pain can even radiate down your arms in severe cases.

It is Difficult to Diagnose the Cause of Neck and Shoulder Pain

Because of the complex anatomic, neurological and physiological relationships within your head and neck, the symptoms of TMJ can appear to be those of other diseases.

If you are experiencing any of the below symptoms, please visit Dr. Brian Hale today:

  • Headaches (often severe)
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers
  • Ringing in the ears, hearing loss, or ear pain
  • Sensitive, sore or loose teeth
  • Jaw pain, difficult or painful chewing, and difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Limited jaw movement, including locking of either the open or closed jaw
  • Anxiety

Serving the San Antonio area, Dr. Brian Hale can help ease your neck and shoulder pain. If you believe you are suffering from pain or dysfunction, please schedule a TMJ consultation at our San Antonio office today to schedule your initial consultation.

Describe Your TMJ

Printable Form (PDF)
To help us better understand your specific pain points and determine the ideal treatment, please print this form. Circle all symptoms that apply to you and bring it to your TMJ consultation.