Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMJD or TMJ syndrome) is an affliction of the jaw normally caused by clenching and/or grinding of the teeth. TMJD pain is not isolated to the jaw, however. Those who do experience this affliction can end up suffering from overly tight muscles of the neck, back, pectoral muscles and shoulders, they can experience pain in the face and ear and can also begin to suffer from headaches due to the muscular tension.
It’s easy to assume that the head and face work during massage sessions is all about relaxation. However, the reality is that you can hold a tremendous amount of stress in the muscles of the head and the face. Those who clench or grind their teeth can find work around the TMJ to be incredibly intense, but the relief felt afterwards makes it worth it to many.
In addition to mouth guards (normally recommended by your dentist when the TMJD is severe), here are some things that you can do to help alleviate the pain and tension generated by excess usage of the muscles in the TMJ area:
- Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tragaskes: http://www.jntdental.com/. Apparently he is “the man” when it comes to TMJD.
- Sleep with a Tri-Core Pillow: http://www.coreproducts.com/shop-by-product/orthopedic-pillows/fiber-pillows/tri-core-pillow.html
- Use a Thera Cane to massage tight muscles: http://www.theracane.com/
- Self-Massage TMJ Management: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJyaCrSKTBE
- TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief: http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/temporomandibular-disorder/article/tmj-exercises-for-pain-relief-1115
- TMJ Exercises & Stretches to Relieve Jaw Pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SbJZXG4fsd4
- Yoga for Carpal Tunnel (not specific to TMJ, obviously, but targets many of the muscles that TMJD affects): https://www.doyogawithme.com/content/yoga-carpal-tunnel-syndrome-and-all-shoulder-and-neck-problems-caused-chronic-computer-use