Temporomandibular joint pain or TMJ pain is a highly prevalent problem that can result from many possible underlying health concerns of the jaw. The majority of the patients who have TMJ pain often resort to using medication to manage their pain.
However, some insist on using a natural Oklahoma City TMJ relief option. If you’re keen on exploring new ways to ease your pain, below is a list of the six most commonly used TMJ exercises, plus a brief overview of a popular remedy used by many TMJ patients.
#1. Jaw Relaxation Exercise
Often, people who struggle with TMJ pain have a hard time doing any form of jaw movement. If this sounds like you, consider using the jaw relaxation exercise. To begin, you will need to place your tongue slowly on your soft palate. Then, gradually drop your jaw to a comfortable level before you lift it back up to close your mouth.
You can repeat the steps as many times as you like as long as you don’t feel a lot of resistance from jaw muscles. We also recommend doing it every day until your jaw can stretch a bit more.
#2. Partial Goldfish Exercise
Otherwise known as the Jaw Dropped Down exercise, the Partial Goldfish TMJ exercise may come in handy in restoring your jaw’s flexibility and strength. To do this routine, you need to use your two thumbs or forefingers. Place one on the chin and the other just below the ears, where you will find the temporomandibular joint. Then, you will need to open and close your mouth. By placing a finger on your chin, you’re providing a bit of resistance. The more force you apply on the chin, the harder it is to move the jaw.
#3. Full Goldfish Exercise
Once you are comfortable with the Partial Goldfish Exercise for Oklahoma City TMJ relief, you can move on to the full version of the exercise. In this routine, instead of partially opening and closing your mouth, you will need to drop your jaw entirely before you lift it back again. Again, place your fingers on your chin and the TMJ and keep your tongue rested on your soft palate before you open and close your jaw.
#4. Side-to-side Jaw Exercise
One of the fascinating things about the TMJ is that it provides maximum movement of your jaw. So, besides opening and closing your mouth, the TMJ also allows the jaw bone to glide from left to right or vice versa. Unfortunately, it becomes challenging to make sideward jaw motions if you have a TMJ disorder.
To restore that functionality, you can try doing gentle side-to-side movements of your jaw. Make sure to use a quarter-thick tongue depressor for support as you gently glide your jaw sidewards. Then, as you notice lesser resistance, you can stack tongue depressors to create a wider opening as you do the exercise.
#5. Chin Tucks
Chin tuck exercise is arguably one of the most common TMJ exercises you’ll find online when searching for Oklahoma City TMJ relief. That’s because this exercise is super easy to do. You only need to stand up straight with your shoulder back and relaxed, and your chest pointed outwards. Then, steadily tuck your chin towards your chest area until you see a double chin. Repeat the same movement up to 10 times, and make sure to hold your “double chin” position for about 3 seconds.
#6. Tongue Stretching
This particular exercise is the simplest among all the items we have on the list. Unlike in other activities that involve a lot of jaw motion, this one only focuses on the tongue. For 5 to 10 seconds, you need to drop your jawbone and raise your tongue until it touches your soft palate. Repeat this as many times as you can each day.
Another Oklahoma City TMJ Relief Option That Works
Indeed, it can be quite frustrating when even the slightest movement, such as chewing your food or smiling at your loved one, can bring you a lot of pain. Thankfully, with the TMJ exercises, we shared above, you may be able to cope with your disorder a bit better. It would help if you committed to a well-defined routine every day to help your jaw gradually recover from the pain.
On top of that, you might also want to consider trying another option for Oklahoma City TMJ relief in the form of upper cervical chiropractic. Over the years, many studies have proven the connection between TMJ pain and neck misalignment. Researchers point to the neck’s vulnerability to injuries or trauma as a possible root cause or a contributing factor to TMJ pain.
When you suffer from an accident such as a car collision or overextension of the neck, chances are the upper cervical bones shift from their original alignment. This event may cause the bones to press on the trigeminal nerve, the nerve bundles that innervate your jaw muscles. As the bones compress the nerve, TMJ pain signals transmitted to your brain also get amplified.
Until you get the neck alignment corrected, the problem will continue to bug you. Besides that, it could potentially worsen as the nerve’s protective layer breaks down because of the injury. The sooner you get your neck alignment restore, the better prognosis you will have.
Talk to us at Precision Chiropractic to know about your option for Oklahoma City TMJ relief. You may leave us a message through our web form or give us a call at 405-378-3100.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Sheppard, call our Oklahoma City office at 405-873-8134. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area, you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.