In order to relieve TMJ symptoms, patients who suffer from TMJ disorderare often asked to perform exercises that help relieve the pain and tension that results from TMJ. There are exercises you can work on that will help relieve the pain. These exercises involve using your facial muscles. However, it is important to realize that the temporomandibular joint is very complex and therefore all exercises should be done only with your doctor’s approval. Below are some TMJ disorder exercises that are easy to do and that can also provide relief.
Since the TMJ joint is in the facial area, most exercises will cover this part of the body. Below are some exercises to help you relieve your pain:
The Chin Tuck. This is an exercise that can be done to reduce TMJ chronic pain. Most of the pain TMJ patients experience is brought about by improper head placement mostly due to poor posture. You will also require a mirror for this exercise. Let your arms rest on the sides and straighten your back. Having the right posture is important in this exercise. Move your chin forward without bending your head. Now use your fingers to move your chin back. Only your neck and chin should be moving in this exercise. Repeat the exercise a few times a day. In case you feel any pain during this exercise stop the exercise immediately to avoid straining your body further.
Jaw Deviation. This is a common TMJ workout. This exercise is done to help you to preserve and relax your jaw muscles so that they can function properly. This exercise is done by slowly opening and closing the mouth. Focus on the side of the jaw that deviates the most. To focus on problem area, do not open the mouth on both sides evenly. The best way to perform this exercise is in the presence of a mirror.
Jaw Thrust. Relax your jaws and slowly push your jaw forward as your upper set of teeth separate completely. Let your lower teeth move as far as is achievable and do not strain or push yourself. In case of any pain, stop the exercises or revert to moving the jaw to a shorter distance. Let your lower jaw rest in this position for a few seconds then repeat the exercise a few more times. Doing this daily will relax your jaws and help replace muscle function.
Muscle Relaxing Exercises
Massage Your Jaws. Massaging your jaws is great ways to help release the tension build up. It is also useful when you have TMJ soreness. Place your fingertips in between the temporal bone and the lower jaw. This is where the jaws meet at the sides of your ears. Using circular motions, gently massage the area making sure that you do not press the already sore area.
Use a Warm Towel or Cold Pack. Depending on what you find suitable, place a warm towel or cold pack for extra relief and to also trim down the swelling.
Head Massage. Having an occasional head massage is great for tension removal and is also a great pain reliever. The head massage should concentrate on the templates and the jaw muscles as well.
Stretches. Also stretch your neck and shoulders as part of your TMJ exercises. It is important that you exercise your head, jaw and shoulders especially if you sit for long periods.