Osteopathy has been around for over a century as a form of manipulative therapy. It was introduced by an American physician by the name of Andrew Taylor Still. It is a non-invasive hands on approach.
To simplify, here is how it works…
The body is a system that contains many other sub-systems (vascular, neuromuscular, articular, respiratory, digestive, vestibular, occlusal, etc…). They are constantly active and report to each other to maintain maximum balance and function.
One system can affect another. For example, if you are a chest breather, you will use your neck and shoulder muscles to get the air in instead of using your diaphragm. This activity will cause strain on the SCM’s, scalenes, and sub-mandibular muscles (accessory breathing muscles of the neck) and, over time, will pull your neck and head into a forward position. This is due to continuous breathing muscle activity, this new position of the neck will result in upper neck tension and spinal joint compression. Also, the jaw bone will be pulled backwards (posteriorly) and can result in clenching (bruxism). So because of upper thoracic breathing, some of us can end up suffering from tension headaches, migraines, jaw pain, bruxism or neck pain.
Pain can lie… The area of pain is not always the start of the problem. If you suffer from chronic headaches or jaw pain and are not able to get any relief, it is possible that you are treating an area of compensation. For example, if your neck muscles are busy making you breathe 24/7 because of muscle stiffness in your diaphragm, the pain generated in the head or jaw is secondary to the breathing. You will not get any relief if you don’t change the area you breathe from. The real cause is your stiff diaphragm! Once you release it, your neck muscles will release allowing the head to go back over your shoulders and the jaw to relax.
During your assessment at the TMJ Physiotherapy Clinic, our physiotherapists will be able to determine the causes responsible for your aches and pains. We will provide you with efficient exercises so you can control your pain and resume full function.