In recent years some areas of scientific literature as well as clinical trials have drawn attention to an anatomical-functional and pathophysiological correlation between craniomandibular (CMD) and craniocervical dysfunction, uniting various areas of the organism into one unique, tonic postural system.
Therefore, this body of literature maintains that back problems are caused by craniomandibular disorders. In fact, this whole set of problems is the focus of special study on the part of gnathologists, who study the role of the jaw in relation to posture. Gnathology has actually succeeded in identifying the relationship between malocclusion and postural problems.
It has even succeeded in intervening with measures to alleviate such postural problems. Despite these important advances on the part of the scientific community, no one has been successful in truly solving the classic problems of posture (scoliosis, lordosis, kyphosis).
Throughout the years scholars have actually taken it in turns to try to resolve these problems. The solutions put forward have been quite diverse, but no one has really understood the issue. The principal methods adopted are the following:
1) Taking part in sports is among the most commonly recommended solutions, but if this is done in a precarious biomechanical condition it can do more harm than good. In fact, a body out of alignment used in sports undergoes excessive stress in various parts of the body, and not in others. In a practical sense it is like going 300 km per hour in a Ferrari that has a flat tire. It is even possible to die while doing sports, as we can see from the stories of Alexander Dale and Puerta, described in this book.
2) Other studies have pinpointed psychotherapy and psychiatric therapy as the methods to follow. However, these have little to do with posture itself and the biomechanical causes that generate such dysmorphic features. Therapies of this kind have little effect on a scoliosis. It’s like repairing an electric plant with a funnel.
3) One of the most common methods of correcting bad posture is through physical therapy or manipulations (osteopathy). But although the body can benefit initially from these, after a few hours it returns to its pre-existing condition before treatment or to a condition of muscular compensation.
4) Widespread is also the use of insoles and bite apparatuses to compensate for the misalignment of the body. These techniques do not solve a single problem as the body regulates its posture from within, therefore we need to work directly with its own equilibrium.
5) Finally, the most invasive and harmful method of all is surgery, which by literally inserting a piece of metal into the back increases the mobility of the spine and creates stress on the body, forcing it into a totally unnatural position.
The list doesn’t end there; many of us have had experience with orthopedic girdles or corsets and other strange and useless remedies. All these methods lead in reality nowhere. Forcing the body to remain upright is the wrong way to go about it.
The body needs to follow its natural course of development and return to correct posture by itself. In order to allow the posture to regulate itself we need to understand that there is a fundamental relationship between occlusion and posture.
The skull is supported by the dental arches at the front and by the atlas, the first cervical vertebra, at the back. This means that if the dental arches, onto which the forces generated at the moment of occlusion are offloaded, do not possess adequate height, the skull does not find support and tends to sink down at the point where it doesn’t have something to rest on.
This ensures that the skull falls where the teeth are not extruded sufficiently to maintain it. Bringing the body back to correct posture is a process that takes place by means of the teeth. The animated image describes this phenomenon very well.