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Tip Tuesday – Ergonomics for TMJD Patients: Part Three – Sitting at the Computer

Welcome to part three of our ‘Ergonomics for TMJ Disorder Patients’ series! This week, we’re covering how you should be sitting at the computer.
Your feet should always be able to reach the floor! If you don’t have a footrest, tape up some phone books (who uses them these days anyway, LOL?). Even a backpack could work in a pinch.

You should be sitting up straight, but not too straight… experts say that the back of the chair should slope slightly at an angle of 100 to 110 degrees. Your back should feel supported. If it does not, you can purchase lumbar support.. just make sure it fits you (and your chair).
Place the monitor in front of you with the top of the monitor just above eye level. If you wear bifocals or trifocals, see if you can get a pair of glasses just for being on the computer so that you aren’t constantly moving your head and eyes to accommodate your glasses.
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10 TMJ Disorder Tips from a Physical Therapist

Editor’s note: I’m excited to bring you our first guest post on TMJ Hope. We’re always looking for interested patients, professionals, and others to tell their stories. If you would like to guest post on TMJ Hope, please contact me! Without further ado…. our first guest! Cynthia is an experienced physical therapist, and author of the book, “The TMJ Healing Plan: Ten Steps to Relieving Headaches, Neck Pain, and Jaw Disorders.”

TMJ Tips from a Physical Therapist1. Less is Best
I agree with the National Institute of Health (and TMJ Hope!) who say, “Less is often best in treating TMJ Disorders”. You would be wise to explore your safe, conservative, reversible and cost-effective options before making any permanent changes to your bite, undergoing surgery, or spending exorbitant sums of money.
2. Posture
I feel that trying to treat your head, neck and jaw without addressing your posture would be like giving you a car without any tires. If your posture is out of balance or alignment, it can adversely impact your jaw, neck and head. You need to address your posture in sitting, standing and sleeping. My patients with the worst jaw joints are often those who sleep on their stomach or on their side with their hand or arm pressing on their face. Try sleeping on your back. You could benefit from seeing a specialized orthopedic physical therapist to help you evaluate your posture and alignment. Many patients with TMJ Disorders don’t realize they have loose joints and hyperextend their knees. If your joints are loose you need to learn to unlock your knees and protect and stabilize your joints including your jaw.
Read more TMJ tips from Cynthia…
Read More »10 TMJ Disorder Tips from a Physical Therapist