TMJ Pain Reduction
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction can be debilitating, painful condition that can create headaches, neck aches and overall body pain. It can be difficult to open and close the mouth, to chew your food or to relax the body.
Here is a video presented by Kevin Wade, LMT, a senior therapist at St. John Clark PTC, and a founder of the Center for Neurosomatic Studies in Clearwater Florida.
Painful Trigger Points
The muscles of the mouth can harbor painful trigger points. The muscles may be too short and contracted, very tight and sore. They may be too lose from a whiplash accident or from some other type of trauma. There may be a lack of blood flow due to injury or constant grinding. Grinding can result from tension and stress, disruptive sleep and concerns of the day.
Fascia of the Cranium
The fascia of the cranium can become imbalanced from chronic stress. Tension in this area can cause headaches, hair growth issues, asymmetry of the face and TMJ pain.
Do you grind your teeth at night? Does your jaw click or pop? Do you have trouble opening your mouth? Do you have clicking or popping when you move your jaw? Is your jaw restricted when you open and close your mouth? Do you get headaches? Does your cranium hurt? When you look in a mirror is your jaw crooked or off center? Do you feel like your mouth and the muscles contained therein are sore tight and contributing to your body pain and vice versa? Here is a LINK to an interesting article on TMJ by the therapists at the St. John Clark Pain Treatment Center.
Postural Distortions, injuries, stress and worry, dental work (like filing teeth), tight neck muscles, too much computer work, straining to lift items can contribute to Temporal Mandibular Joint Dysfunction. Injuries or stress related, over thinking, can create imbalances in your temporal mandibular joint. Imbalances and distortions in the temporal mandibular joint and the cranium can result in pain, distortions and imbalances in the entire body.
Common Referral Pain
Trigger points are common in the jawbone ( mandible) and can result in coughing, thyroid issues and shoulder issue. Whiplash can result in jaw and tongue pain. The tongue has referral points in the ears, throat, front/back of neck, voice changes, swallowing and can result in headaches. Working these areas externally and internally can bring relief.
TMJD (Temporo Mandibular Joint Dysfunction) can be treated naturally at home. Please go to the video link to see my introductory video to External and Internal Manipulation of the Temporal Mandibular Joint. This self treatment can be done seated, lying down or in the shower.
The first part of the home treatment of the Temporomandibular joint is to find a mirror that you can sit down and look into.
- Open and close your mouth while looking in the mirror.
- Bring your bottom teeth forward, past your top teeth and then back again.
- Bring your mandible, your jaw, side to side.
- Attempt to move your jaw in a figure eight pattern.
- Attempt to move your jaw in an infinity pattern.
Performing these simple techniques 3-4 x per week will significantly amplify the treatment you receive from qualified professionals. Treat yourself naturally to relieve pain.
- Massage the platysma with light stretching and skin rolling
- Massage your temporalis muscle with light pulling.
- Massage your masseter with light stretching and skin rolling
- Work the floor of the mouth by hooking your thumb under the jaw bone. See video.
- Massage your sinus points above the eyes (eyebrow) and on either side of the nose by placing pressure on the points
- Pull your hair gently and close to the scalp. Once you have a hand full of hair then gently twist and pull in all directions. Open and close your mouth as you create space in the cranial fascia.
- Pull, rotate and turn your ears. Open and close your mouth as you create space around the ear.
- Release the fascia that covers your cranium (head) by squeezing and stretching the skin all over the head.
- Here is another video that shows self massage for the jaw and head.
Internal Jaw Release of the Masseter
- Using sanitary gloves you will be placing your hands inside your mouth, between the cheek and the teeth.
- Using the pointer finger (outside of the mouth) and the thumb of the same hand (inside the mouth) reach inside and gently place pressure on the orbicularis oris (the muscle surrounding the mouth). See video here. Move all around the lips and close to the gums massaging the entire area.
- Locate the Masseter and massage the space between the cheekbone (zygomatic arch) and the jawbone (mandible)
- Massage your gums on the buccal and lingual side (inside of teeth and outside of teeth)
- Gently grasp your tongue (you can use some gauze because the tongue can be slippery) and squeeze the muscular tissue of the tongue. Squeeze top and bottom together. Squeeze side to side. The tongue can harbor some wicked trigger points. Find them and hold them for 8-12 seconds and then release. Swallow. Repeat.
Each segment has a highlighted word that shows a diagram of the structure so that you can locate the area you need to work.
Here is another video from the St. John Clark Pain Treatment Center and the Center for Neurosomatic Studies in Clearwater Florida regarding TMJ Dysfunction.