Many of Dr. Ivan Stein’s patients at the Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey live active lifestyles and enjoy working out regularly. Questions about exercise and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder often come up during consultation with these patients. Our team is happy to shed some light on the relationship between working out and TMJ pain.
Why Exercise Can Aggravate TMJ Pain
Although the act of exercising won’t directly cause TMJ disorder, it can indirectly lead to pain in or around the TMJ. Here’s why:
Improper workout form. Using improper form while performing certain exercises (e.g., sit-ups or planks) or having poor posture when running can strain your neck and jaw muscles, causing pain and tension in and around the jaw.
Subconsciously clenching the jaw. If you have a tendency to grit your teeth and clench your jaw, particularly while doing things like lifting heavy weights or pushing your body into challenging yoga poses, it can put a lot of tension on the jaw.
Get Relief Quickly
The first step to finding relief from TMJ pain while exercising is to work on keeping your jaw relaxed and using proper form. It might be wise to schedule a few sessions with a personal trainer who can assess your form and ensure you are not doing anything during your workouts that can cause pain or injury.
If these tweaks don’t alleviate your jaw pain, or the pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as headaches, earaches or a popping or clicking noise when you open your jaw, you should see the team at Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey.
Every case of jaw pain has its own set of circumstances that require a unique treatment approach. What works for someone else may not work for you. After learning more about you, Dr. Stein and our team can help you find the solution that is likely to relieve your pain and symptoms. Sometimes it is as simple as learning a few jaw exercises to relieve tension in and around the jaw joint. Or, there are other medical and surgical modalities to treat more serious cases of TMJ.
To make an appointment with Dr. Stein and the team at Headache and TMJ Center of New Jersey, please call or email us today.