Three great TMJ exercises for jaw pain and back pain
Did you know that TMJ can cause pain in not only your jaw but also in your back? Characterized by jaw and mouth pain, TMJ can also lead to a popping sound when you chew, ear pain, headaches and your jaw locking in one position. More than 10 million people across the country suffer from this condition. If you are suffering TMJ jaw or back pain, try these simple exercises to find relief.
1. Get relief with resistance training
Resistance training might sound like something that requires expensive equipment and time in the gym, but this motion is something you can easily do at home. Do this exercise while standing in front of a mirror.
Form a fist with one hand and place it just underneath your chin. Apply pressure as you slowly open your mouth. Hold this position for five seconds before releasing. The pressure that you add with your fist creates resistance, which forces your mouth and jaw to exert more force, which can help build muscles in the mouth.
2. Practice back and forth motions
Other types of jaw pain exercises include back and forth movements.
Open your mouth, place a pencil between your teeth and clamp down. Slowly move your jaw as far to the left as you can and hold for five seconds. Bring your jaw back to center, move to the right and hold for an additional five seconds. After doing this exercise for a few weeks, you’ll notice that the motion doesn’t require as much force. When this occurs, move on to a slightly larger object.
3. Strengthen your back like a cat
TMJ changes the relationship between your jaw and your skull, which affects the way you carry yourself. This can cause intense pain and discomfort in the neck and shoulders, but back pain exercises can give you some relief.
The cat pose from yoga is a simple exercise that stretches and strengthens the muscles in your back and shoulders. Sit on the floor with your knees hip width apart and your hands planted on the floor shoulder width apart. Inhale as you press down on the floor and round your upper back and shoulders. Exhale as you release the pose and drop back down.
Find a more permanent solution
While these exercises are great for pain relief, without finding the root cause of your TMJ, it is likely that the pain will return. Through an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, it is possible to find a more permanent solution to your TMJ pain. If you would like to see if neuromuscular dentistry could help you find the long term relief you are looking for, please come in for a complimentary consultation.