The 5 Best TMJ Flare-Up Exercises to Relieve Pain
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) flare-ups can cause considerable discomfort and affect your ability to speak, eat, and even sleep. While seeking professional help from a qualified orthodontist is crucial for addressing TMJ issues, there are exercises you can incorporate into your routine to help manage and alleviate TMJ pain. In this article, we will explore five effective exercises for TMJ flare-ups that can provide relief and promote overall jaw health.
- Jaw Relaxation Exercises:
One of the main causes of TMJ flare-ups is jaw muscle tension. Performing exercises to relax the jaw can help relieve this tension and reduce pain.
Start by placing the tip of your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Then, slowly open your mouth as wide as possible, making sure to keep your tongue in position. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then slowly close your mouth. Repeat this exercise five to ten times, focusing on maintaining a relaxed jaw as you open and close your mouth.
- Jaw Stretching Exercises:
Stretching exercises can help improve the flexibility and range of motion in your jaw, alleviating TMJ pain.
Begin by gently opening your mouth as wide as you comfortably can. Place your thumb on your chin and apply gentle downward pressure while keeping your mouth open. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this jaw exercise five to ten times, gradually increasing the pressure applied by your thumb as your jaw muscles become more relaxed.
- Resistance Training:
Resistance training exercises can strengthen the muscles around your TMJ, enhancing stability and reducing the risk of future flare-ups.
Place your thumb on your chin, and with your mouth closed, apply gentle upward pressure while resisting the movement with your jaw. Hold this position for a few seconds, and then relax. Repeat this exercise five to ten times, gradually increasing the pressure applied by your thumb. Remember to perform this exercise with control and avoid any sudden or jerky movements.
- Tongue Press Exercise:
The tongue press exercise helps relieve tension in the jaw muscles and promotes relaxation.
Begin by placing the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. Apply gentle pressure with your tongue while opening your mouth slowly. Maintain this pressure for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat this exercise five to ten times, ensuring that your jaw remains relaxed throughout the movement.
- Neck and Shoulder Relaxation Exercises:
TMJ flare-ups are often accompanied by muscle tension in the neck and shoulders. Incorporating relaxation exercises for these areas can provide additional relief and complement your TMJ exercise routine.
Perform gentle neck rolls and shoulder shrugs to release tension. Stretching exercises, such as bringing your ear towards your shoulder or rolling your shoulders backward, can also help alleviate muscle tightness.
While the aforementioned TMJ flare-up exercises can provide pain relief and promote jaw health, it’s important to note that they are not a substitute for professional care. If your TMJ pain persists or worsens despite these exercises, it is advisable to seek the expertise of a qualified orthodontist or healthcare professional specializing in TMJ disorders. They can assess your condition, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.
Remember, self-care exercises can be beneficial in managing TMJ flare-ups, but comprehensive TMJ treatment may involve a range of therapies such as medication, dental appliances, physical therapy, or in severe cases, surgery. Seeking the assistance of a qualified orthodontist is crucial to alleviate TMJ pain and to ensure long-term oral health and well-being.