Common Exercises Recommended For TMJ Sufferers
More and more people are suffering from a medical condition known as Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Even though this condition can be acquired from jaw accidents or arthritic problems, most of the dysfunctions related to TMJ are caused by a combination of factors such as muscle tension and anatomic problems in the joints of the jaws, muscle pain and tightness, hypermobility, internal joint derangement and ankylosis, and dental problems that include teeth grinding or clenching. Psychological factors like stress and tension are also said to cause TMJ.
Unfortunately, TMJ could cause a lot of pain to its sufferers, especially if proper medical attention is not applied. This disorder could cause headaches, pain in the ears, and worse the locking of jaws. While there are various forms of treatments that TMJ sufferers could try, some of these approaches don't come cheap, not to mention that not all of them are effective and could only provide symptomatic relief to patients. Fortunately for TMJ sufferers, they don't have to endure the pain and discomforts of TMJ as well as the expensive medical treatments associated to it because there are TMJ exercises that they could try.
TMJ exercises mainly functions by strengthening the muscles and tendons in your jaws and face so as to reduce the tension that often causes TMJ pain. The first exercises for TMJ that you could do is to open your mouth widely and then positioning your tongue on your mouth's roof. While in this stance, breathe in and out slowly for several times. You could repeat this exercise 10 times.
You have to understand that TMJ could disrupt the alignment of your jaws, which means it is likely that whenever you open your jaws, one of them would shift slightly to one side, making it difficult to open your mouth while talking and chewing. In order to relieve this misalignment, stand in front of a mirror and try to open and close your mouth ten times and take a breather. Such stretching exercises for TMJ should be facilitated in three sets at least five times a day. You could also try pressing your fist to your misaligned jaw for several seconds and repeat it three times.
As a follow up on the above mentioned exercises for TMJ, sit straightly on a chair and open your mouth as wide as you can. Using your fist, push your chin to open your mouth further and maintain this position for 20 seconds. Beware that you could experience a bit of pain facilitating this exercise, but this an effective massage for the jaws. The next step that you would have to do is to open your mouth again and then with the help of your fingers softly move your jaw to the right side and maintain the position for 20 seconds. The pull that you would feel from this exercise will significantly help in realigning your jaws together.
Besides the aforesaid jaw stretches, some TMJ exercises are also made to address postural issues that are also identified as major factors that cause or complicate TMJ dysfunctions. It should be noted that an awkward position even if it standing, sitting or sleeping could greatly affect your TMJ. As a side note to the exercises mentioned in this article, it is advised that consult with your doctor before attempting these exercises so as to make sure that you would be doing things right.
TMJ could cause a lot of pain and discomfort to its sufferers. Although there are various treatments for this disorder, most if not all of them are expensive and ineffective. TMJ exercises are probably among the most effective forms of TMJ treatments. A simple exercises for TMJ may include jaw stretches to relax the tension in the joint and muscles in this area of the face. There are also some forms of exercises that directly target the postural problems that often contribute to the development of TMJ.
Published January 6th, 2011
Filed in Health