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Is the Jaw the Lesser Known Source of Your Shoulder Pain

Is the Jaw the Lesser Known Source of Your Shoulder Pain?

You've spent years trying to manage your shoulder pain with cortisone shots, PRP, physical therapy, massages and even surgery with no long lasting relief in sight.  Exercise ends up making it worse.  What else can it be? 

According to a research study published on April 26, 2023, shoulder pain can be referred from another body part like the neck, jaw, discs and upper trunk.  

How can the jaw affect the shoulder?   

If you are a habitual clencher or have a postural imbalance in the head and neck like a forward head, it leads to a faulty bite which then affects the position of the temporal bone which is part of the temporomandibular joint.  Malpositioning of the temporal bone leads to narrowing of the jugular foramen where the spinal accessory nerve passes through.  This irritated cranial nerve supplies the trapezius muscle in the neck-shoulder area provoking tension based pain and malpositioning of the shoulder blade or torsion of the skull.  Faulty posture of the shoulder blade will influence the proper movement of the arm leading to impingement of the shoulder and severe shoulder pain. 

Here at Seville Physical Therapy, we have long understood this relationship and have been helping complex shoulder pains that has an underlying TMJ/TMD problem.  Seville PT is a specialty clinic with an integrative approach of hands-on and postural restoration therapy.  We provide evidence based solutions to those who have not found relief with conventional treatments. 


Eller G, Kellermann I, Kellermann M, Maul K, Röchert BH, Arias A, et al. Craniomandibular Shoulder Pain-An Underestimated Cause of Refractory Progressive Pain. J Orth Clin Res. 2023;1(2):60-68. DOI: https://doi.org/10.37191/Mapsci-JOCR-1(2)-008

#TMJ #TMD craniomandibular #specialtyPT