Exercise and Massage May Temporarily Ease TMJ Pain

Posted by AESTHETIC DENTISTRY on Nov 20 2020, 06:43 AM

Exercise and Massage May Temporarily Ease TMJ Pain

If you suffer from temporomandibular joint dysfunction, you are likely all too familiar with the pain and discomfort the condition causes. There may be some days that painkillers may not be enough, and you are left wondering what to do. But did you know there are ways to help ease jaw pain besides over-the-counter medications? Here are a few ideas that may help you feel better when TMJ dysfunction pain hits.

What is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (also known as TMJ dysfunction) is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. It occurs when the joint becomes misaligned with the jaw bone, and pops in and out as you open and close your mouth. This can result in pain and stiffness of the jaw, popping and clicking sound when you open your mouth, teeth grinding, tinnitus, headaches, and neck and backaches.

What Can You Do To Correct TMJ Dysfunction?

Unfortunately, there is no ‘quick fix’ for TMJ dysfunction. There are many “band-aid” solutions that may or may not provide temporary relief, such as Botox or over-the-counter pain medication, but these only last so long, leaving you in pain again. 

The best solution to stopping TMJ dysfunction pain is neuromuscular dentistry, which uses orthotics and orthodontics to help align the jaw and eliminate the misalignment, thus eliminating the pain.  This, in conjunction with physical therapy, is a permanent, effective solution that many have found relief with.

TMJ Dysfunction Exercises

There are many jaw exercises you can try to help eliminate some of the TMJ dysfunction pain you may experience. These exercises can be done in conjunction with neuromuscular dentistry or as stand-alone exercises. Here are a few you can discuss with Dr. Abelar and try at home.

Trigger Point Massage

Trigger point massage focus on the areas directly affected by your called trigger points. If you are interested in receiving trigger point massages, look for a practitioner who is well versed in TMJ dysfunction treatment, as they will be the most effective at bringing you relief.

TMJ Dysfunction Exercises

Relaxing your jaw: Open and close your mouth with your tongue resting on the roof of your mouth and touching the back of your front teeth.

Chin Pulls: Standing against the wall, pull your chin towards your body and hold it there for up to five seconds. Repeat.

Mouth Resistance: Touch the underside of your chin with your thumb and apply pressure. Open and close your mouth. Hold for five seconds; close your mouth and repeat.

Jaw Flexing: With a flat object (experts recommend a craft or popsicle stick) between your teeth, move your jaw side to side while holding the object in place.  Then, move your jaw forward and back with the same object. The goal of this exercise is to increase the thickness of the object as your flexibility improves.

If you have jaw pain that is undiagnosed, contact Dr. Abelar’s office for a consultation today. If you are interested in trying trigger point massage or jaw exercises, speak to Dr. Abelar to see if these treatment options may be right for you.

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