You may be surprised to learn that tension in your jaw is connected to tension in your pelvic floor. I was certainly taken aback at first, as these two areas seemed unrelated. I couldn’t understand how a clenched jaw could affect the pelvic floor and hip mobility. However, just as stress and emotions often manifest as teeth grinding and a clenched jaw, they can also result in tightness in the pelvic region. When a person experiences stress and anxiety, their muscles can tense up as a natural response to perceived threat. The muscles involved in jaw clenching or teeth grinding are closely connected to the muscles of the pelvic floor, which support the base of the spine and organs in the pelvic area. So, tension in one area can potentially impact the other.
Now, it may seem unlikely that these two areas are closely linked, considering that the jaw and pelvic floor are hardly neighbours in the body and anatomically are very different. However, this connection actually refers to the muscular and nervous systems of the body. The link between jaw clenching and pelvic floor tension may be related to the fascial line that runs from the jaw to the pelvis. Fascia is a type of connective tissue that forms a web-like structure throughout the body, allowing for communication and transfer of tension between different parts.
Jaw clenching is usually easier to spot as it can result in straight forward symptoms such as soreness, stiffness, and headaches. However, recognizing pelvic floor tension can be more challenging to identify. We have greater sensory awareness of our jaw and its muscles, while the pelvic floor muscles are not as easily accessible and harder to connect with, making it difficult to determine if you are tense or relaxed in that area. But a simple rule of thumb is that if you try to engage your pelvic floor and don’t feel any change, it may indicate that you are already contracted.
The Women’s Health team at Body Logic have put together a pathway to move you beyond pain and dysfunction, allowing you to build your core strength, guide you on your return to activity and help you feel your best again. Find out more about your pathway to success and the steps you can take to improve your health again at our Women’s Pelvic Health page.
The connection between the jaw and pelvic floor can be advantageous, as addressing jaw tension through exercises and relaxation techniques may potentially help alleviate tightness in the pelvic floor. Jaw exercises that incorporate relaxation and mindfulness techniques can improve body awareness and promote relaxation throughout the body, including the pelvic floor. Mindfulness-based practices, such as body scans, meditation, or yoga, can improve your mind body connection and help reduce of tension in both the jaw and the pelvic floor and facilitate relaxation in these areas.