The muscles in our neck and jaws are very active. If you think that the muscles allowing your jaws and mouth to move are engaged only when you eat, think again. These muscle groups are utilized in almost every movement of your skull, like when you talk, smile, laugh or even when wriggle your mouth in thought.
Connecting the lower and upper jaws to the skull is a joint known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ has quite a complex network of its own, comprised of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. This complex network can at times be stressed or suffer injury, leading to what is known as TMJ neck pain.
There are a good number of causes from where TMJ neck pain can be attributed to. Some of them are:
- Too much grinding or clenching of the teeth
- Arthritis setting in the joint
- Misalignment of the joints
- Stress, particularly emotional stress
Exercises to Help with TMJ Neck Pain St Albert
Like your other muscle groups, subjecting the TMJ to exercise will not only help relieve the pain but also work to strengthen the jaw muscles in order to minimize future occurrence of injury. Try out some of these exercises whenever you experience TMJ neck pain. Not only do they relax the muscles and joints, but will also serve to rehab them back to normal.
1. Relaxed Jaw Exercise
Place your tongue behind your upper front teeth. Then gently open your mouth while keeping your tongue placed behind the teeth, thereby relaxing the jaws. Repeat several times.
2. Goldfish Exercise
Put one index finger just below your ear where your TMJ is located. Then place your other index finger on your chin. Slowly open your mouth while making sure your index finger placed below your ear feels the opening and flexing of your TMJ. Try to do a half opening of your jaw several times before doing a full opening of the mouth.
3. Chin Tucks
Tuck your shoulders back and your chest up and out. Then pull your chin straight back, thereby resulting in a double chin. Hold the position for several seconds before releasing. Repeat several times, as many as ten.
4. Side to Side Jaw Moving
Place a small object between your teeth, preferably the incisors, like a toothbrush. Then as you maintain the bite on the object, move your jaws from side to side.
TMJ neck pain is real! Know your options today. For more information on how to address neck pain due to TMJ issues and see if it’s covered by your insurance, book a no-obligation appointment now.