TMJ Guide
 

TMJ Exercises: Ready Reckoner

Experience tells us that even for some agonizingly painful physical disorders, no cures are available through medical science, at least with the conventional approach that is. And if this is the case, then either the person has to learn how to live with it or alternatively, take the help of ‘white noises’ to ‘mask’ those horrid internal sounds. However exercises, if practiced under appropriate guidance, can alleviate quite a few stressful episodes to a great extent. Fortunately for us, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder falls under this category. Yes, TMJ exercises can provide from the TMJ pain and the other problems. But before attempting the exercises, it may be relevant to analyze the anatomical features of this complex joint so that the expediency of these exercises could be better appreciated.

 

Unlike other joints in the body that either work as hinge as in the elbow and the knee or perform as free-moving ball and socket joint as in the shoulder or the hip, the Temporomandibular joint performs differently. It serves as a hinge for the lower jaw or the mandible. And it also allows the joint to move forward a bit to facilitate proper bite. TMJ exercises have been designed in such a way that the muscles connected with this joint are thoroughly toned up, making it easy for the jaw to open and close smoothly as also to help making the bite satisfactory.

 

Now that the anatomy part is over, let us get down to business. Here are the steps for TMJ exercises that will provide relief to someone who is suffering from the TMJ disorder.

 

Step 1

 

Use the tongue to reach the roof of the mouth, open the mouth as much as possible and then breath in slowly for two counts. After this, you will have to hold your breathe and then breathe out slowly for two counts. Now bring the tongue back to normal position, wait for a few seconds and repeat ten times.

 

Step 2

 

Make a tight fist and then place it right under the chin. Hold the arm fast and start pressing against the chin while simultaneously trying to open the jaw. The isometric energy so developed in the process will relax the mandible (lower jaw bone) as you perform this exercise. However, if the jaw clicks at any point, abandon the exercise and start all over again. The duration of this exercise is ten seconds after which there will be a break of ten more seconds and then repetition (10 times).

 

Step 3

 

Make a tight fist with your left hand and press it against the left side of the jaw just below the joint. Maintain a steady pressure for ten seconds before releasing it. The isometric energy in this case will help relax the jaw muscles, bringing them back to normal condition. The same procedure may be adapted for the right jaw, using the right fist. This should also be repeated 10 times to obtain the desired effect.

 

Step 4

 

Use the index finger of both hands to press against both sides of the TMJ (medium pressure right below the joint). Now start opening the mouth slowly till the jaw clicks. Release the pressure if it clicks and start all over again. Uniform pressure at either side will permit the jaw to open and close in right alignment.

 

Step 5

 

This final phase of this TMJ mode of exercise is a bit tricky and is not recommended to all those people who are suffering from chronic TMJ pain in the jaw and there are associated problems. However, some people believe that it works well with people who have been diagnosed early, at least in controlling and reducing the pain that they suffer from.

 

The Temporomandibular Joint has dual performances – it works as a hinge, allowing the jaw to open and close while at the same it also permits the lower jaw to go forward to facilitate proper bite. This particular exercise invigorates the functional properties of the TMJ, bringing it back to normal parameters. Nevertheless, it involves holding the chin with the thumb and forefinger and then giving it a few shakes every alternate ten second. The chin may also be pulled out and pushed in, mimicking the TMJ mode of functioning. The procedure should be immediately abandoned if any pain is caused during the exercise.

 

TMJ Relief

 

TMJ exercises may provide some relief, but this is at best temporary in nature. After all, TMJ exercises can in no way eradicate the root causes of the disorder and thus, as long as they are present, the problems keep coming back.

 

Over the counter medications and conventional treatments are also not much help. They also fail to reach the real cause of TMJ and just treat the symptoms. However the good news is, holistic remedies work very well here because these remedies treat the body as a whole first identify the different root causes and then eliminate them. With the root causes gone, the signs of TMJ naturally go away and the relief is permanent.


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