Your TMJ or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the most overused joint in the body. It’s the one that connects your lower jaw to your skull via the temporal bone on each side of the head. Any damage or irritation to this joint can lead to a TMJ disorder with symptoms that might be difficult to ignore. Notably, TMJ disorder’s accompanying symptoms cause intense pain and discomfort, and they can interfere with daily activities.
Thankfully, finding TMJ relief in Escondido is not difficult if you know simple remedies and self-care tips such as practicing jaw relaxation exercises. Learn more about the best jaw relaxation exercises and your alternative source of TMJ relief as you read through the article below.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
TMJ disorder symptoms may vary from person to person, but some of these may be present:
- Stiffness in the jaws
- Popping sound
- Clicking sound
- Teeth Grinding
- Locking of jaw
- Upper and lower teeth that do not match
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- Facial pain
Can a jaw relaxation exercise help with TMJ disorder?
Yes. Natural TMJ exercises can help manage TMJ disorder; one of the most common is jaw relaxation exercise. For some people dealing with a TMJ disorder, it isn’t easy to do any form of jaw movement. But a jaw relaxation exercise can help ease your discomfort. We recommend doing this exercise every day until your jaw can stretch a bit more. Here’s a step by step guide:
- Step 1: Place your tongue slowly on your soft palate
- Step 2: Gradually drop your jaw to a comfortable level before you lift it back up to close your mouth
- Step 3: Repeat the steps as often as you like as long as you don’t feel a lot of resistance from jaw muscles.
Are there other jaw exercises you should try?
Your TMJ joints move up and down and from side to side, greatly influencing basic daily movements such as talking, chewing, and yawning. In the USA alone, about 10 million people are dealing with a temporomandibular joint disorder and enduring severe pain, which can lead to other issues if left ignored. Sadly, your jaws are complicated, and at times TMJ disorder may occur without an exact cause.
Partial Goldfish Exercise
This is also called the Jaw Dropped Down exercise, and it can help restore your jaw’s flexibility and strength. Here’s how to do it:
- Step 1: 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.
- Step 2: Once your fingers are in place, open and close your mouth.
The finger on your provides slight resistance, and the more force you apply to the chin, the harder it is to move the jaw.
Full Goldfish Exercise
When the Partial Goldfish Exercise becomes more comfortable for you, you can try to do the full version called Full Goldfish. The main difference is that you will need to drop your jaw entirely before lifting it back up. Please follow the steps below to do the full goldfish exercise:
- Step 1: Place your fingers on your chin and the TMJ.
- Step 2: Keep your tongue rested on your soft palate.
- Step 3: Open and close your jaw.
Side-to-side Jaw Exercise
Your TMJ provides extensive movement of your jaw. It helps open and close your mouth and glide the bones from side to side. However, it becomes challenging to make sideward jaw motions once TMJ disorder develops.
To help restore that functionality, you can do side-to-side movements of your jaw. You can use a quarter-thick tongue depressor for support as you gently glide your jaw sidewards.
Once the resistance becomes less, stack tongue depressors for a wider opening as you do the exercise. Remember to do this gently and not force the movement so you don’t cause more harm and pain to your TMJ.
When searching for TMJ relief in Escondido, you will encounter a recommendation to try chin tucks. It’s also a straightforward routine. Here’s how you can do chin tucks properly:
- Step 1: Stand up straight with your shoulder back and relaxed and your chest pointed outwards.
- Step 2: Steadily tuck your chin towards your chest until you see a double chin.
- Step 3: Repeat the same movement up to 10 times, and make sure to hold your “double chin” position for about 3 seconds each time.
The first few exercises involve frequent jaw motion, but tongue stretching focuses on moving your tongue alone. If you would like to try this exercise, follow the two simple steps below:
- Step 1: For 5 to 10 seconds, drop your jawbone and raise your tongue until it touches your soft palate.
- Step 2: Repeat this as many times as you can each day.
Finding long-term TMJ relief in Escondido
The exercises mentioned can help strengthen your jaw to be more comfortable with movement again. However, they might not provide you with long-term relief because they don’t tackle postural imbalances, which studies recognize as a significant contributing factor for TMJ disorder. Patients seeking TMJ relief in Escondido may be surprised to find out that an upper cervical misalignment, or a displaced topmost bone of the spine, contributes to TMJ disorder.
When the topmost bones of your spine get misaligned, they can affect the nerves that control the chewing muscles. Additionally, the postural imbalance can affect the alignment of your jaws and strain your temporomandibular joints.
Upper cervical chiropractic adjustment can help release tension from the jaw’s muscles to function correctly again. Essentially, this source of TMJ relief in Escondido uses targeted and gentle adjustments based on the specific condition of a patient’s C1 and C2 bones.
You may book a consultation for your TMJ disorder at Rickards Chiropractic to learn more about the technique. You may directly call our office at (760) 745-1511 or fill out our online form to reach Dr. Rickards.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Rickards, call our Escondido office at (760) 745-1511. 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.