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Postural Analysis | TMJ Dysfunction and Forward Head Posture

What is a postural analysis?

If you suffer from TMJ syndrome you already know some of the more common symptoms. Did you know though, that problems with your TMJ can be directly related to your posture? Believe it or not, the way you sit or stand can have a direct effect on your TMJ. Let’s take a look at the correlation between TMJ dysfunction and forward head posture and how a postural analysis can help remedy it.

How are TMJ syndrome and Bad Posture Connected?

One of the causes of TMJ dysfunction is poor posture. It’s particularly important because many times it’s the last thing we think of. However, the stress put on your body from forward head posture can put pressure on all different parts of your body, including your mouth and jaw. Luckily, out of all the possible causes, this one is the least expensive and easiest to treat.

Who offers postural analysis?

What Causes Forward Head Posture?

A forward-leaning head is caused by constantly being hunched over. In fact, poor posture while sitting, working and walking can lead to a complete change in the curvature of the neck. This can lead to TMJ pain issues like migraines, stress headaches, plus pain in the back and shoulders.

Can a Postural Analysis Help with Forward Head Posture?

There are two main ways to fix forward head posture. You can either go through rehabilitation, or you can use things like a postural analysis to correct the issue. At Kent Health Systems we offer everything you need to give your patients a proper postural analysis. Contact us today to learn more.

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Posture Charts | Importance of Good Posture

Who offers posture charts?

When you were a kid, chances are your mom told you to sit up straight or fix your posture. While you might have thought she was just nagging you, there was a real reason for it too. Having a good posture can prevent back and other medical issues later in life. Let’s take a look at just a few of the reason why a good posture on posture charts is important.

Eliminates Neck and Back Pain

When you have proper posture, your bones and spine can easily and efficiently balance and support your body’s weight. When you have improper posture, muscles, tendons, and ligaments have to constantly work to support that same weight. The extra strain that is put on your back from bad posture can lead to neck pain, back pain, and even headaches.

Improves Memory

Studies have shown that there may be a connection between good posture and memory retention when learning new things. That’s probably why your teacher in school would tell you to sit up straight at your desk. The theory is, good posture enhances your breathing. This allows you to take in more oxygen, and when you take in more oxygen, your cognition improves.

 Where can I find posture charts?

Makes You Look Slimmer

Poor posture can cause your stomach to protrude over your belt line, sometimes referred to as a “beer belly”. Standing up straight will make you look skinnier and taller.

Are You Looking for Posture Charts?

At Kent Health Systems we offer all sorts of charts and training aids for your practice, including posture charts. Contact us today to learn more.

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Trigger Point Chart | Pain Management Without Opioids

Where can I find a trigger point chart?

Trigger points are small areas of spasm inside your muscle. When “struck” trigger points can sometimes cause debilitating pain that can make it difficult or temporarily even impossible to move. For generations, the answer to pain caused by trigger points was opioids. However, with the use of a trigger point chart some hospitals have begun using alternative methods for pain management. Let’s take a look at one of those alternative methods.

Dry Needling

It’s no secret that the country is currently in the middle of an opioid epidemic. It’s also no secret that a hospital ER is the biggest prescriber of opioids in the United States. Some hospitals, like St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in Paterson, N.J. have begun using alternative methods though when treating patients for pain. In fact, the strategy has led to a 58% drop in the ER’s opioid prescriptions in just the first year that the program has been in place.

One of the methods that St. Joseph’s uses is dry needling the trigger point of the pain. Unlike opioids which are rarely actually able to penetrate the spasm and trigger point, a dry needle can break up the muscle tissue and mechanically stop the spasm and the pain. The dry needling is followed with a small injection of a local anesthetic for the soreness caused by the needle.

What is a trigger point chart?

Are You in Need of a Trigger Point Chart?

At Kent Health Systems we offer charts and training aids to better help you serve your patients. Contact us today to learn more about the products and services we offer.

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Head, Neck and Shoulder Pain: How Trapezius Plays a Roll

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By: David Kent, LMT, NCTMB

When clients enter complaining of headaches, neck and shoulder pain it is easy to show them that their pain is a “symptom” of a bigger problem. Educating clients about the muscular components of their pain, often determines if they reschedule and refer their family, friends and coworkers. This article will review a few of the trigger point (TrP) patterns of the trapezius muscle and its involvement in various postural patterns.

Trigger Points:

Trigger points form in muscles for a reason and are often a result of trauma or stress. Poor posture can place a great deal of structural stress on the trapezius muscle. The human head is heavy and designed to be support by the bones of the cervical spine. Remember, muscles determine where bones are held in space. So a client with a forward head and rounded shoulder posture, has shortened muscles on the front of the body with over lengthened muscles on the back. The pains or “symptoms” are their headaches, neck and shoulder pain and we want to educate our clients on how we can address the cause.

When clients report that they have a headache that starts in their temple, deep in the head or behind the eye that continues behind their ear and into the back and side of their neck, they are describing TrP # 1 pattern of the trapezius muscle, which is one of the most common TrPs in the body (See Photo 1). Showing clients this pattern on a trigger point chart lets them know you understand the pain they are reporting and have a plan to help. This TrP forms from acute trauma from a whiplash, sustained shoulder elevation from holding a telephone to the ear, working on a keyboard that is too high, compression on the muscle from the shoulder strap of a heavy back pack or the pressure of a bra strap. Skeletal anomalies like a short lower limb or a hemipelvis should also be ruled out.

Commonly overlooked, is TrP 3 in the lower trapezius that refers a deep aching tenderness above the scapula that causes clients to report a “soreness” in the region of the upper trapezius. The pattern typically runs from the base of the occiput out laterally to the acromial process (See Photo 2). TrP1 and TrP 2 in the upper trapezius often develop as satellites within this zone of pain and tenderness that is usually referred from the lower trapezius TrP 3”1

Trigger points in middle and lower trapezius are often a result of tight pectoral muscles that should be released.

Posture:

The human body is designed with a great deal of symmetry or balance and has the same bones and muscles on both sides. Muscles on the front and back of the body counter balance each other. Addressing the cause of your client’s pain requires a whole body approach. Postural analysis is a great tool to document and educate your clients.

Muscles are like guide wires and determine where the bones are moved or held in space. When the bones and joints are properly aligned on the coronal, midsaggital and transverse horizontal planes the muscles are under minimal stress. To demonstrate this to your clients, first use muscular and skeletal charts to show the proper postural alignment of the body. Then review photos taken of your client in front of a postural analysis chart to show them which muscles are shortened, which are over lengthened and the unnecessary stresses being placed on their body causing pain. (see Photo 3)

Let your client’s know you will design a treatment plan to address their pain. Educate them on postural distortions like: forward head, high shoulder, forward rounded shoulders, collapsed abdominal posture, the position of the pelvis, anatomical deviations and more are not an isolated phenomena and cause the formation of trigger points and pain throughout the body.

David Kent, LMT, NCTMB, is an international presenter, product innovator and writer. His clinic, Muscular Pain Relief Center, is in Deltona, Florida, where he receives referrals from various healthcare providers. David is President and Founder of Kent Health Systems which teaches Human Dissection, Deep Tissue Medical Massage and Practice Building seminars, and has developed a line of products, including the Postural Analysis Grid Chart™, Trigger Point Charts, Personalized Essential Office Forms™, and DVD programs. Visit www.KentHealth.com or call (888) 574-5600 for more information.

1 Simons DG, Travell JG, et al. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, volume 1, 2nd ed. Williams and Wilkins: 1999.

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