TMJ Guide
 

Stretching and Strengthening
Exercises  for TMJ 

Despite the fact that millions of Americans fall victim to the temporomandibular joint disorder all the time, undergoing intense sufferance and pain, doctors seldom advice surgery or invasive treatment procedure for the TMJ disorder since the prognosis is invariably poor and pitiable. Instead, they argue that whenever possible, the treatment protocol should be conventional and reversible. Conventional mode of treatment is uncomplicated and non-invasive, and worst comes to worst, the patient never runs the risk of losing anything. Reversible treatment modalities do not include permanent alteration of the jaw bone as in metal transplants through surgery that consistently create deep, nagging pain but consist of anti-inflammatory drugs, behavioral modification, jaw exercises and stretching & strengthening exercises for TMJ. However if you are still considering surgery for TMJ relief, you need to remember that you should always do this after consulting a physician.

 

When a person is suffering from the TMJ disorder on account of tight musculature, it is crucial that stretching and strengthening is included in his/her treatment program. This need not necessarily mean involvement of the TMJ muscles and ligaments only, but also other related muscles that contribute to the overall TMJ pain. In fact, the affected person should also stretch postural muscles that include shoulder as well as cervical musculature in order to achieve the desired relief.

 

Here Are Some Instructions For Stretching And Strengthening Exercise For TMJ

 

         Using a tongue depressor between the central incisors, the patient can steadily proceed to increase the capacity of the depressor till he/she can open sufficiently to insert the knuckle of the index or the middle finger.

         Self-stretching can be carried out by placing the thumb under the upper and the middle finger under the lower teeth and stretching the mouth open like as you do with opening a long disused jewel box with a set of corroded hinges.

 

TMJ mobilizations are effectual in taking apart capsular adhesions as well as realigning the collagen fibers. It can also increase nourishment of the joint while preventing degeneration on account of stagnation. This includes:

 

         Traction in sitting position or in supine with the head stabilized, the therapist (with gloved hand) pushes downwards into the molars of the mandible with the thumb while his/her outside fingers would be draped firmly around the jaw. It may be accomplished unilaterally or bilaterally, meaning one side of the jaw at a time or both sides of the jaw.

         Traction with glide is performed unilaterally in the same fashion but with the help of an interior glide.

         Traction is also done by keeping the head stabilized while the therapist places the thumb over the ipsilateral molars when his/her index and middle fingers hold the mandible which is simultaneously pulled anteriorly to the conttralateral side.

 

Similar to stretching, strengthening should also focus on facial as well as postural muscles that usually involve the TMJ syndrome. However when the TMJ the person is suffering from is hypermobile, it is crucial to augment the strength of the sustaining musculature to maintain the appropriate alignment. This may be achieved with the help of several resisted or opposing isometric or isotonic exercises as described below.

 

         For facial muscles constrict lips, pull together and hold for ten seconds. Alternatively, the person needs to fill the cheek with free air and move it from side to side.

         For mandibular movements Depression: Patient opens jaw with resistance in the form of upward pressure on the chin. Protrusion: The person puts some resistance to the front of the chin when trying to protrude the mandible.

         Lateral deviation Extension: The person standing with back to wall while a soft ball is placed at the back of the head. Patient is asked to press head against the ball. Sidebending: Patient standing with side against the ball, pressing against the ball in that position.

         Sundry postural exercises include

 

o        Shoulder flexion, extension, shrugging can be practiced with or without weights.

o        Alternating UE/LE in quadruped posture to strengthen neck, hip and trunk.

o        By raising chest off the bed, scapular muscle, trunk and neck is strengthened.

 

TMJ Treatment What Really Works?

 

Stretching and strengthening exercises for TMJ or natural exercises for TMJ can offer some relief from the signs of TMJ. But the fact is that, these symptoms come back soon enough, even after disappearing completely. This happens because the root causes of the TMJ syndrome have remained within the body and this problem has not been addressed. This is precisely why you need to turn to holistic remedies because this treats the body as a whole and from the inside, rather than just the symptoms. And with the treatment, once the root causes are gone, the symptoms go away too. This is why holistic remedies are so successful for TMJ all others (conventional and over the counter) solutions treat just the symptoms and not the root causes.


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