As outlined in the article Snoring, from The Mayo Clinic, one type of snoring is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This occurs when your airway significantly narrows or closes completely while you sleep. This can cause you to take in less oxygen or even stop breathing momentarily. It can also cause you to snore as the soft tissues of your airway rattle as you try to pull in air.
Airways narrow for many reasons, but are regularly seen in individuals with temperomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder or neck dysfunctions. In both cases, the head tends to move forward causing the cervical spine to lose, or even reverse, it's curvature which will reduce the airway.
Physical therapy can help to restore airway space by addressing the neck and jaw joint. At Integrate 360 physical therapy, we use techniques that correct the many reasons you developed your dysfunction - poor diaphragmatic breathing, poor scapular position and strength, rigid ribcage, scoiosis, etc. Assessing your entire body, it's ability to move and integrate multi-area motion is what makes us different from traditional therapy. The traditional model promotes assessing the problematic area as well as screen the areas above and below to see if they are related. This model allows the evaluating therapist to miss many components of their patient's dysfunction.
If you do suffer from TMJ, we have an arsenal of techniques that can restore your bite entirely and correct your jaw joint mechanics. For those that do need dental intervention, we work together with a dentist to heal this issue.
Stop buying all of those infomercial products of sleep devices from your dentist. They either do not address the airway space itself, or may not be appropriate for your body given the condition of your neck.
If you suffer from snoring, TMJ, headaches (especially in the morning), and/or neck pain. Let us tell you those other interventions have failed in the past and help you sleep peacefully again!
Call us at 314-733-5000 or email Lesley@Integrate360PT.com or Nancy@Integrate360PT.com.
Written by Lesley Callaham, MPT, PTC on December 21, 2017