If you have ever been diagnosed as suffering from Temporomandibular disorder or TMD, you know it can be a very painful and uncomfortable experience. The pain goes around in your skull, through your face, down your neck, shoulders, and back. You can also have discomforting symptoms such as headaches, numb tingling hands, dizziness, or your jaw stays locked in place. It sounds like a heart attack or a stroke but it is a very painful condition caused by your jaws. How does this happen in your jaws? In TMD, the joint that connects the lower and upper halves of the jaw is out of alignment or damaged.
Many Americans suffer from this condition that is believed to be caused by stress, a blow to the head, poor posture, or misalignment of the jawbone. Many alternative doctors believe TMD is not just a dental problem but also an entire body problem, especially since it affects many parts of the body and not just the mouth. Try doing the following exercise techniques that can help relieve the pain of this very painful and discomforting condition.
One of the best techniques to relieve TMD pain is to ice the tensed muscles and stretch them. Stretching the neck muscles will go along way in releasing the tension that is built up in the neck, head, and jaw muscles that cause the pain of TMD. First, try to rub the muscle with uncovered ice to get the full effect, however, if you can’t use something to cover the ice like a cloth or ice pack, and then rub the ice on the tensed muscles. The cold helps dull the pain and makes stretching the muscle easier.
Start the ice rub at the top of the head and slowly move down behind your ear to the back of your neck and then to the shoulder area. Repeat this procedure several times a day. While using the ice cube, stretch the left side of your neck by bending your head toward your right shoulder. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and put your left hand on your neck. Switch to the other side, repeating this procedure for several minutes. Some other stretch exercises to help relieve the pain of TMD includes the “reverse stretch” for neck pain, the “rubber band” stretch for facial pain, the “pinky point” for eye pain, TMD Mantra to relieve jaw tension, the M point to relieve cheek pain, and isometric exercises to balance the jaw muscles.
Most of these exercises are acupressure techniques that can be researched and taught how to do appropriately. Make sure you do these exercises everyday for several minutes a day to help relieve the pain of TMD.