TMJ exercises to relieve pain and headache

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Studies show that over 25 per cent of American adults suffer from TMJ disorder. TMJ, otherwise known as temporomandibular joint is your jaw joint. It is responsible for most of the activities that go on around your mouth and jaw region; activities such as eating, swallowing and talking. When there is trauma to the jaw, clenching, stress or arthritis may easily trigger TMJ disorder.
When this occurs, you may suffer symptoms like dull jaw pain, headache, facial numbness and reduced range of motion. Temporomandibular joint exercises, alongside medical treatment can be highly effective for this condition especially to relieve you from pain.
There are exercises tailored specifically for this condition, and in this article, you will learn about these exercises. In order for these exercises to serve their purpose quickly, you have to learn the points you will be working on, make sure you do them regularly.
Points You Should Pay Attention To
For this exercise to work effectively, you will be working on four points:
• The area attaching the top of the ear to the skull
• The tragus part of your ear
• The bottom of the earlobe
• The angle of your jaw

Best TMJ Exercises To Relieve Pain And Headache

Relaxed Jaw Exercise

How To Do:

Place your tongue against the back of your upper incisors (front two teeth).
Open your mouth a little and let your jaw muscles relax
Do this while standing in front of a mirror.
Place one index finger on your TMJ and the other index finger on your chin.
With the help of your index finger, drop your lower jaw a little and close it up.
Make sure you open your jaw in a straight line, and your tongue stays in place against the back of your incisors.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps. Do this 6 times a day.

Goldfish Exercises (Partial Opening)

How to do:

Stand in front of a mirror. Place one index finger on your TMJ and the other index finger on your chin.
With the help of your index finger, drop your lower jaw a little and close it up.
Make sure you open your jaw in a straight line, and your tongue stays in place against the back of your incisors.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 10 reps. Do this 6 times a day.

Goldfish Exercises (Full Opening)

How To Do:

Stand in front of a mirror, and place an index finger on each TMJ.
Place your tongue against the back of your upper incisors.
Lower your jaw and close it up.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps. Do this 5 times a day.

Chin Tucks

How To Do:

Place your thumb under your chin.
Open your mouth while you apply resistance by pushing your thumb against your chin gently.
Hold this for at least 3-6 seconds.
Close your mouth.

Sets And Reps

sets of 10 reps. Do this 5 times a day.

Resisted Closing Of The Mouth

How To Do:

Place both index fingers on your chin and both thumbs under it.
Open your mouth.
Squeeze your chin with your index finger to apply resistance and close your mouth.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps. Do this 5 times a day.

Tongue-To-Roof

How To Do:

Touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue and try opening and closing your mouth.

Sets And Reps

2 sets of 10 reps. Do this 3 times a day.

The Side Slide

How To Do:

Relax your jaw and open your mouth.
Slide your jaw to the right and look to your left. Do not move your neck or head.
Hold this pose for 3 seconds and then re-center your jaw.
Slide your jaw to the left and look to your right.

Sets And Reps

3 sets of 8 reps. Do this 5 times a day.

Forward Jaw Movement

How To Do:

Put an object that is ¼ inch thick between your teeth. This is your starting position.
Move your bottom jaw forward so that your lower teeth are in front of your upper teeth.
Come back to the starting position.
Sets And Reps

8 sets of 8 reps.

Do this 5 times a day.

Wide Stretch

How To Do:

Relax your jaw and part your teeth slightly.
Open your mouth slowly, as wide as possible, and look up.
Hold this pose for 5-6 seconds.
Close your mouth and relax.

Sets And Reps

2 sets of 5 reps. Do this 3 times a day.

Mandibular Stabilization Exercises

How To Do:

Place your thumb under the chin.
Smile slightly and apply gentle pressure on the chin with your thumb.
Hold this for a second. Move your thumb to the right and place it on the angle of the jaw and repeat.
Move your thumb to the left and place it on the angle of the jaw and repeat.

Sets And Reps

2 sets of 5 reps. Do this 3 times a day.

Occipital Lifts

How To Do:

• Place a thumb at the back of each ear, fingers pointing up your head.
• Lift the right side of your head slightly and pull down on the left side. It will make your head tilt.
• Do the same on the other side.

Sets And Reps

2 sets of 5 reps. Do this 3 times a day.

The question hounding a lot of persons as regards TMJ exercises is how safe they are.
TMJ exercises are not only safe, but are also very effective for pain and headache relief. But it is very important you consult your doctors or physiotherapist before you commence these exercises.
Also, make sure you start these exercises gently and slowly. You might feel pain initially, but it will get better as you keep relaxing and exercising the jaw.
The truth is, constantly living in pain even if the littlest or dullest of it may take a toll on your life. Medicines help, but extra help like incorporating TMJ exercises in your routine goes a long way to help you.

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