Do you suffer from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain? If so, there is hope. It’s possible to alleviate the pain by doing simple exercises at home without needing to make an appointment with a specialist. In this article, we will examine 7 easily accessible exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home in order to reduce TMJ pain.
1. Jaw Stretch
Stretching can be incredibly useful for reducing TMJ pain and prevention of further issues. One simple stretch you can do at home is the jaw stretch. Start by lightly opening your mouth, allowing your jaw to relax. Gently place the index fingers of each hand on the sides of your jaw, and proceed to slowly open and close your mouth in a chewing motion for about 10 seconds. Relax and repeat this exercise a few more times throughout the day.
2. Neck Stretching
In addition to stretching your jaw, you’ll want to make sure that your neck muscles are being stretched as well. Bring your chin towards your chest, tucking it in as far as comfortable and hold for 15 seconds. Then tilt your head over to the right side of your shoulder and tuck in your right ear towards your right shoulder, holding for 15 seconds. Repeat the same process on the left side.
3. Shoulder Rolls
In order to reduce TMJ pain, it’s important to ensure that your entire body is relaxed and tension-free. Start by standing up straight with your shoulders back and tuck in your chin. Roll each shoulder forwards in a circular motion, and then repeat the same process in reverse. Do this exercise at least 10 times to successfully reduce any tension.
4. Facial massage
Facial massages are great for increasing blood circulation, which helps with alleviating TMJ pain. Start by applying firm pressure onto the areas around your cheeks and jawline, using the tips of your fingers. Massage in a circular motion for about 10 seconds before moving onto the next area. Continue this process until you’ve massaged all of the affected areas.
5. Neck massage
Similar to facial massage, gently use the tips of your fingers to apply a firm pressure onto the sides of your neck. Massage these areas in a circular motion for approximately 10 seconds, before moving down to the next area. Continue this process until you’ve completed an entire neck massage.
6. Shoulder massage
Finally, you can use the same technique to give yourself a shoulder massage. Use the tips of your fingers to apply a firm pressure onto each shoulder in a circular motion, continuing this process for 10 seconds before moving onto the next area. By doing so, you will be able to effectively reduce any tension in your muscles that could be contributing to TMJ pain.
7. Heat Compress
Heat therapy can be used to reduce TMJ pain. One option is to use a heat compress on the affected areas. Fill a clean cloth with warm water, and place it onto the area for up to 10 minutes at a time. You’ll want to make sure that the temperature of the compress is comfortable and not too hot.
8. Heat Pack
Alternatively, you can use a heat pack on the affected area. Place the heat pack onto the area for up to 10 minutes at a time, making sure that it’s not too hot or uncomfortable. Again, this will help to alleviate any tension in your muscles as well as reduce TMJ pain.
9. Hot Water Bottle
Yet another option is to use a hot water bottle on the affected area. Place the hot water bottle onto the area for up to 10 minutes at a time, ensuring that it’s not too hot or uncomfortable. Just like with heat compresses and heat packs, this will help to reduce tension in your muscles and TMJ pain.
TMJ pain can be incredibly uncomfortable and even debilitating if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a few simple exercises that you can do at home in order to alleviate this type of discomfort. From stretching the jaw and neck muscles to using heat therapy and facial massage, there is something for everyone. Make sure to consult with our Calgary dentist if you are experiencing severe or persistent TMJ pain.
1. How long should I do each exercise?
It’s best to hold each stretch or massage for at least 10 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. Heat therapy can be done for up to 10 minutes at a time.
2. Is it safe to do these exercises at home?
Yes, it is safe to do these exercises at home as long as you’re not experiencing severe pain or discomfort. If you are, then please consult with a healthcare professional for proper tmj pain treatment in Calgary.
3. How often should I do these exercises?
It’s best to do the stretching and massage exercises at least twice a day in order to get the most benefit from them. Heat therapy can be done as needed for up to 10 minutes at a time.