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Is It Your Job or Your Jaw That’s a Pain in the Neck?

Do you notice that you are suffering from many different pains and problems that you think might be associated with your job? If so, you’re not alone, and your job may just be to blame for many of the things you are feeling.

Here are three ways your job could be contributing to pain in your neck (and elsewhere).

Poor Ergonomics

If you spend most of your day sitting at your desk, the layout of that desk is going to have a big impact on how you feel at the end of the day.

To reduce the risk of neck pain, make sure your back is well-supported, and that your arms can hang comfortably at your side with the elbows bent at a 90 degree angle. Feet should rest on the floor and your knees should be bent 90 degrees as well. Your head should look forward, not off to the side, and either level or slightly downward.

Remember to take breaks from your desk every 20 minutes to reduce the impact of sitting all day on your health.


Do you work in a stressful environment? Do you spend much of every day with your teeth clenched, trying to keep yourself and your situation under control? If so, then you’re probably contributing to your neck pain.

The muscles in our jaw work together with the muscles in our neck. When the one is stressed, it can convey stress to the others. That means that straining your jaw muscles can cause not just jaw pain, but neck pain as well.

Reduce workplace stress by first recognizing the symptoms and talking to people about your stress, including management or HR.

Lack of Exercise

For most of us, our job is entirely or almost entirely sedentary. That means you spend basically eight or more hours sitting at a desk with your body inactive. To remain healthy, your body needs to be active for at least a short period of time each day. As people spend more time at work, they have less time for other things, such as exercise.

Studies have shown that a lack of exercise can contribute to chronic pain. One study showed that getting less than two hours of exercise each week could increase your risk of chronic neck pain by 25%.

To reduce your neck pain, make sure you get out and exercise. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it gets you moving your muscles, including that most important muscle of all: your heart.

Still Suffering?

If you get yourself in a good comfortable position at work, reduce your stress, and get exercise but your neck pain persists, it may not be your job that’s the problem, it may be your jaw. TMJ can produce many types of pain, including neck pain.

To be evaluated for TMJ, please contact Strober Dental in San Diego, California.

By |November 13th, 2013|TMJ/TMD|