Simple techniques can go a long way in relieving the discomfort of TMD. Dr. Ivan Stein of the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey discusses some of the best exercises and relaxation techniques to ease TMD symptoms. Most of these you can do on your own when you have time.
Trigger Point Massage
When a muscle becomes very tight, it forms a knot. This is common in those dealing with TMD, where the culprit is the muscle covering the jaw above the teeth, the masseter. This is not a technique you can perform on your own, as you will require a trained specialist in trigger point massage. The massage therapist or doctor kneads the masseter muscle gently so it relaxes, and then uses their finger to firmly identify and release any trigger points via pressure.
Strengthening the jaw muscles provides TMD relief over time. Relax the jaw by touching the tongue to the top of the area behind the upper front teeth. Follow this action by opening and closing the mouth. Repeat the exercise several times, and do so every few hours.
A chin tuck consists of standing straight against a wall and pulling the chin downward, making a double chin. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and repeat several times. Perform this exercise at various times during the day.
Proper breathing exercises are the key to all types of relaxation, and this holds true for TMD relief. If you feel tension in your jaw, inhale slowly and hold your breath for 10 seconds, then exhale just as gently.
Self-Mobilizing Jaw Opening
While a therapist may perform a resistance jaw opening exercise on you, at home you can do a similar exercise known as self-mobilizing jaw opening. Start by washing your hands, then put one thumb in the mouth, positioning the thumb on the bottom teeth. Use the opposite hand to the side of the jaw you are working on. Keep your fingers on the bottom of the jaw, outside of the mouth.
Pull the jaw down gently. Hold it down for just a second, then let go. Repeat this action 10 times. When finished, remember to wash your hands again.
For More Information, Contact the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey
If you would like more information about relaxation techniques that help your TMJ symptoms, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Ivan Stein at the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey. Call us today or contact us online.