TMJ Treatment You Can Do At Home
TMJ Treatment can ease stress and pain
TMJ is the common term for a jaw condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The muscle that is key to the TMJ treatment described below is the masseter muscle. The holiday season is “famous” for increasing stress as we rush around, adding more “to do’s” to our lives. Aside from the usual work and family commitments, the holiday’s mean extra shopping, parties, and therefore, stress.
Common symptoms of TMJ are:
Clicking when opening your mouth
Clicking while chewing
Jaw moves toward one side
Trouble opening mouth fully
While there are other pains that are common with TMJ, these are the most prevalent.
A Common Cause of TMJ Disorder
Do you find yourself clenching your teeth? Do you chew gum? These are two of the most common causes of TMJ.
Your masseter muscle is a small, but powerful muscle that goes from above your back teeth, to your jaw. You can feel it if you put your flat fingers on the back of your cheek and clench your teeth.
Your masseter is used when you chew. As you hold your fingers on your masseter muscle, clench and open your jaw repeatedly. Like any other muscle in the body, it can be subject to repetitive strain injury. Normally you open your mouth wide to put in food, and then chew. This motion both contracts and lengthens the muscle.
However, if you chew gum you are contracting (shortening) the muscle, but not lengthening it. And it stays contracted if you clench your teeth when you are stressed, or at night while you sleep. Eventually the muscle will form spasms from the repetitive movement.
It is called TMJ because of the joint the masseter crosses over at the very back of your jaw. The problem is the way your moveable jaw attaches to your skull. As the muscle tightens into the spasm, it prevents your jaw from opening properly. When one side is tighter than the other, your jaw will move toward the tighter side. As this happens the bones click over each other and you will feel pain.
TMJ Treatment saved this woman from a lifetime of drooling!
Several years ago a woman came to the medical office where I had my therapy practice. Both sides of her jaw were so tight that she couldn’t open her mouth at all. She had to “eat” liquified food through a straw, and the fear was if she regurgitated she could choke. The next day her oral surgeon planned on severing both masseter muscles. This surgery meant her mouth would hang open permanently. This would result in her drooling for the rest of her life! What a nightmare!
Her masseter muscles felt like rocks were stuffed in her cheeks. The medical doctor who owned the office understands repetitive strains and wouldn’t give her surgical clearance until she saw me. I taught her the following TMJ treatment, and in just 15 minutes she was opening and closing her mouth normally.
First I worked on her muscles, then I taught her how to do it. The TMJ treatment starts with first pressing the muscles as I described, holding the pressure, and then releasing it. She did this several times, alternating between her right and left sides. The last part of the TMJ treatment is applying pressure to both sides at the same time. Then while still holding the pressure, I told her to just open her mouth slowly, and she did. Without pain!
She started to cry because she was only one day away from a lifetime of drooling. And the best part is it only took 15 minutes to solve.
Place the length of your three middle fingers on both jaws. Clench your teeth so you can feel the muscle bulge under your fingers.
Press deeply on just one side, feeling for the “knot” in the muscle. Press in for the count of five, and hold it for the count of five. Then slowly release that side and repeat it on the opposite side of your jaw. Go back and forth, repeating this several times.
Feel along the muscle and find other knots, and repeat the sequence. Do this to each spasm you find.
Go to the point just in front of your ear lobe, and press. If it hurts, there is a spasm. Do the same treatment. This is a small area so you’ll probably only need one finger to be effective.
After you are finished treating each spasm, put your fingers on both masseter muscles at the same time. Now, slowly open your mouth to stretch the muscles.
That’s it! It’s an easy treatment when you know where to go and what to do.
Treat Yourself to Pain-Free Living has the TMJ treatment, and also has treatments for your entire body. You don’t need to be in pain when it’s so easy to find solutions you can do yourself.
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