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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
extension, shrugging can be practiced with or without
Alternating UE/LE in
quadruped posture to strengthen neck, hip and
By raising chest off
the bed, scapular muscle, trunk and neck is
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.