What Is a Posterior Tongue Tie? How Does Chiropractic Bodywork Fit In?

First things first.
Posterior means back
Anterior means front.

A Posterior Tongue Tie is a connective tissue band at the back of the tongue (underneath it) that stops the elevation of the mid tongue.

It can be hard to see and feel if you don’t know how to look for it.

Surprising fact about Posterior Tongue Tie:

Many with a posterior tongue tie can stick their tongue out past their lips.

The truth is, using the terms ‘posterior’ vs ‘anterior’ tongue tie is irrelevant to whether or not it is affecting function of the tongue, such as breastfeeding.  The reason is that if you see an anterior tongue tie, there is always a posterior tongue tie also.  This is because the anterior tie is a forward extension from its origin - at the back of the tongue.

How Does a Posterior Tongue Tie affect Breastfeeding?

A Posterior Tongue Tie affects breastfeeding because while the tongue cups the breast to make a seal, the mid-tongue must elevate to the palate to create a vacuum (suction).

This is made even more difficult if the palate is higher than normal because the tongue has to elevate even higher to create suction.

What Does Chiropractic Have To Do With Tongue Ties?

Chiropractors trained in tongue tie bodywork play an important role in the team of health professionals involved, to ensure the best outcome.

Key Purposes of Chiropractic Bodywork

1. Assess for and Remove Muscular Compensation Patterns from poor tongue function.
2. Assess for and Remove any nerve tension that could be affecting tongue strength (especially weak latch, and tiredness to keep feeding, taking very long time to feed).
3. Ensure that you are doing the required exercises well post surgical release, to minimise reattachment.

Other professions that may be involved in this team approach include: Lactation Consultant, Midwife, Dentist, GP, Pediatrician, ENT, Orofascial Myologist, and Speech Pathologist.

Written by Dr. Nik Dukovac

Consults in South Adelaide at Adelaide Family Chiropractic

And in the Adelaide Hills/Mt Barker Region at Better Back Chiropractic

Dr. Nik has been trained with the Tongue Tie Institute, and has attended multiple conferences on the subject.  He also has personal experience with this matter, as his son had a tongue tie affecting his breastfeeding ability.

Great resources:

DRGHAHERI.COM

Exercises Post Surgical Release:

https://drghaheri.squarespace.com/aftercare

Diagnosing Tongue Tie in a Baby is Not a Fad

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52ee7826e4b07fbe8885e2ab/t/5334920fe4b0681b8cd3b5c1/1395954191938/Diagnosing_TT_Is_Not_A_Fad.pdf

Not All Breastfeeding Problems are Caused by Tongue Tie

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/52ee7826e4b07fbe8885e2ab/t/5334921ee4b0681b8cd3b5d0/1395954206759/Not_All_Problems.pdf