Best TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief
Your temporomandibular joints connect your jawbone to your skull, causing you to use them frequently. Your TMJ joint springs into action the moment you begin speaking, eating, or swallowing.
You may experience TMJ disorders when your jaw joint and muscles are affected by injuries or inflammation like arthritis or merely overusing the jaw.
TMJ disorders cause mild to debilitating symptoms like:
- You may experience pain when chewing.
- Pain in the ear, face, neck, and jaw caused discomfort.
- Besides headaches, you experience clicking, grating, and popping sounds when opening or closing your mouth and even locking of the jaw joint.
You may think you must obtain TMJ pain treatment near me from a medical professional or a dentist. However, are you aware you can also find relief from TMJ pain merely by incorporating some exercise into your everyday routine? If not, please continue reading this blog to learn more about how TMJ exercises can provide you much-needed relief from this problem.
What Exercises Can You Use for TMJ Pain Relief?
Precise information on why TMJ exercises relieve pain isn’t evident. However, the exercises are beneficial for strengthening jaw muscles, increasing jaw mobility, relaxing and stretching the jaw, and reducing jaw clicking.
Studies published back in 2010 indicated TMJ exercises increase the range of motion of the mouth better than using a mouthguard in patients with TMJ disk displacements. The following exercises recommended by the American Academy of family physicians may help provide TMJ pain relief and help to improve jaw movement. Some activities have frequency recommendations. In other cases, you can ask your doctor or dentist how frequently you must use the exercise for TMJ disorder treatment.
What Are the Exercises Recommended by Medical Professionals?
- Relaxing Jaw Exercise: You can rest your tongue gently on top of your mouth behind your upper teeth. Thereafter you can allow your teeth to come apart by relaxing your job muscles.
- Goldfish Exercises Partial: Placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth, you can place one finger in front of the ear where the temporomandibular joint is located. You can put your middle finger on your chin and drop your jaw halfway before closing it. You may experience mild resistance but not any discomfort. You can alternate between each TMJ joint as you lower your jaw halfway and close it again. Use this exercise six times in one set, repeating the exercise once daily.
- Goldfish Exercises Complete: Let your tongue remain on the roof of your mouth and place one finger on the TMJ joint and the other on your chin. Drop your jaw entirely before closing it. You can put your finger on both TMJ joints repeating the exercise six times and complete each set six times daily.
- Resisted Opening and Closing of Your Mouth: Placing your thumb under your chin, open your mouth gently, putting pressure against your chin with your thumb for resistance, and close your mouth slowly. Hold on for six seconds as you go through this exercise.
- Squeeze your chin with your index and thumb with one hand placing dental pressure on your chin. This exercise helps strengthen the muscles that allow you to chew.
- Side-To-Side Jaw Movement: Put ¼ inch object-like stacked tongue depressors between your front teeth and gently move your jaw from side to side. When you are comfortable with this exercise, increase the object’s thickness between your teeth, stacking them on top of each other.
- Jaw Movement Forward:
- Put ¼ Inch object between your front teeth.
- Push your bottom jaw forward to bring your bottom teeth in front of your top teeth.
- Increase the thickness of the object between your teeth as you become comfortable with the exercise.
- Chin Tucks: Keep your shoulders back, pushing your chest up, pull your chin right back, creating a double chin. Repeat this exercise ten times, holding a position for three seconds each.
Other Techniques to Manage TMJ Pain
If you visit dentists or physicians for TMJ pain relief tips, you will likely receive recommendations for over-the-counter pain relievers and muscle relaxants for severe swelling and pain. However, you can also manage the pain using warm towels and stress relief techniques to prevent behaviors causing jaw tension.
If you experience severe pain from damaged joints, you may require more invasive treatments like corticosteroid injections into the temporomandibular joint. Although TMJ disorders disappear by themselves, surgery is considered a last resort.
Before you seek relief from your dentist or any other source, it helps to use the above tips and exercise to understand whether you can find relief from the TMJ pain you experience.