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What Do Your Teeth Have to Do With PT?


“What is your dental history?”

This question can be surprising for patients when they are in physical therapy for their hip, back, neck, foot, or pelvic floor. The position of your teeth when you bite down (occlusion) gives us an idea of how your body is aligned. When our bite is off, our body compensates leading to muscle imbalances causing injury, limited ROM, pain, and muscle weakness.


How Can Physical Therapy Help?

Our teeth should contact together like our feet contact the floor. If there is an imbalance in the bite, this turns into an imbalance in the body. Try walking on the sides or balls of your feet all day, how does your back feel? This imbalance will cause the overuse of muscles and create too much pressure on the joints.

Evaluations performed at Manchester Physical Therapy identify these muscle and postural imbalances which lead to individualized home exercise programs to promote a neutral alignment throughout the entire body by using Ron Hruska’s Postural Restoration Institute (PRI) concepts,


How The PRI Approach is Different

The PRI technique retrains your body to a new pattern with improved stability, strength, mobility, breathing, and occlusion. There are specific PRI exercises that will reposition the head, neck, and jaw to improve your bite and breathing patterns that are causing the muscle and postural imbalances. Even though you might be coming for left foot pain, don’t be surprised to be completing a tongue and jaw exercise before you begin your strengthening program!


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