Muscle strain can impact many areas of peoples’ lives. It can prevent people from getting a good night’s sleep and make them feel worried or anxious.
There is a link between muscle tension and anxiety disorders, such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). Muscle tension and poor posture can amplify the symptoms associated with anxiety, which can harm a person.
What is GAD?
GAD is a type of anxiety disorder that impacts numerous day-to-day activities. A person with GAD will usually display anxiety symptoms on most days, leading to pervasive issues in their life if undiagnosed.
GAD diagnosis usually occurs after about six months of ongoing symptoms.
These symptoms usually include:
- Regular fatigue
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty falling asleep
- And more
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, these symptoms can cause problems in a person’s life. These symptoms usually accompany Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD), which can lead to overall discomfort. A doctor can help patients diagnose and treat these issues.
How Does GAD Relate to TMD?
GAD can sometimes occur alongside TMD, which is when the jaw is poorly aligned. This misalignment usually has to be over-compensated for, which can result in posture issues, along with head and neck pain.
This poor alignment results in postural instability for patients struggling with TMD. The body must work even harder than usual to compensate for the deficient jaw and neck posture. This can result in the entire body being put in a sympathetic (fight or flight) mode.
These posture issues usually bring other symptoms with them, such as:
- And more
How Can TMD Impact Posture?
TMD initially starts in the jaw, but it can eventually impact a person’s entire posture. These posture issues can eventually become future health problems, such as back injuries or muscle strain.
This extra exertion on the body can potentially lead to GAD, which results from the added stress of the misalignment. Correcting the TMD can usually lead to the relief of symptoms associated with GAD.
Treating Muscle Tension and TMD
If a person reduces their overall body tension, they can also relieve symptoms of GAD. Added stress on the body can be the source of some instances of GAD. By relieving the tension, people can lessen their GAD symptoms.
TMD could be the cause of the muscle tension, sleeplessness, and irritability that comes with GAD. After TMD is treated, many people note increased relaxation all over their body, such as in the shoulder, neck, and back muscles. When the jaw muscles eventually relax, so can the rest of the body.
Improved posture is also noticeable in GAD patients after their TMD disappears. Muscles have a much easier time resting after TMD treatment, which results in a straighter overall back posture.
If muscle strain or soreness has accompanied your GAD, it could be related to TMD. TMD has a non-surgical treatment, which can alleviate muscle soreness and tension. Eventually, it could also lead to fewer anxiety symptoms, as the body can easily relax. Here is one of many case histories: