TMJ exercises and stretches to relieve pain
We have found a lot of our patients here at Docklands Dental suffering from jaw pain and clicking of their jaw joint. There is no one reason for jaw pain but “stress” is a primary cause. If you suffer from Tempro-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain, there are several different TMJ treatment exercises that you can easily perform in the comfort of your own home whenever you have a few extra minutes to help!
For your jaw
For example, you can stretch the muscles in and around your jaw by gently opening and closing your mouth repeatedly. Think of this in the same way that you would perform bicep curls in a gym only you are exercising the muscles around your jaw. Be careful not to open your mouth too far though. Use caution not to force your mouth open and if you feel pain when you do this exercise, slow down and give your jaw a chance to grow accustomed to the exercises.
For your shoulders, neck and head
Because the muscles of the jaw are all connected to those of the neck and head, as well as the shoulders, it is important for you to do some gentle stretches in order to exercise these muscles. Shoulder rolls, both forward and backward, as well as head tilts are some of the most effective exercises. Start out doing this for just a few moments each day and then gradually build up as your strength and flexibility allow. Pay attention to your pain levels and if you find that your pain is increasing, stop and speak with your dentist before you proceed.
When exercises and stretches aren’t quite enough
Of course, it is important to remember that you may need more than just TMJ treatment exercises in order to eliminate the pain and the disabling immobility that is often associated with the disease. While this is enough to combat the disease for some individuals, it does not work equally well in every case. You may need to combine your exercise program with other treatments such as the use of a soft or hard occlusal splint to keep your jaw in its proper place while you sleep or even corrective surgery, if the problem is severe enough. While it is certainly important for you to do whatever is necessary to get the relief that you need, TMJ treatment exercises are one more option that you have available at your disposal for the treatment of the disorder. If you only have a mild case of TMJ, this may eliminate your symptoms. Even in severe cases, the exercises are beneficial and can often help. Of course, it is best to speak with your dentist in order to develop a treatment plan that is specifically designed for you so that you can find the treatment methods that work best.