The TMJ (which stands for temporomandibular joint) is the sliding hinge joint that connects your jaw bone to your skull. You have one on each side and this joint moves thousands of times a day while we talk, yawn, laugh, and chew.
TMJ pain is common, and often symptoms can begin without obvious reason. Some people experience radiating pain in the jaw, face, or neck and often experience difficulty or increased pain with chewing and opening their mouth wide, as in laughing and yawning .
Self-care practices can be beneficial in easing symptoms. Here are a few that I like to share with my patients.
𝗠𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲: Place 2 fingers just below your cheekbone at the TMJ, a couple of centimetres in front of your ear. You’ll feel the joint if you open and close your mouth a few times. Rub in little circular motions using your desired amount of pressure. Allow your mouth to open slightly and relax your jaw.
𝗖𝗵𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲: Wash your hands well
then place your index finger inside your cheek with your thumb on the outside. Pinch gently then massage with desired amount of pressure.
𝗕𝗿𝗼𝘄 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲: Slide your fingers from the bridge of your nose and up tracing your eyebrows or up into the forehead.
𝗧𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘀 𝗺𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲: Make a claw shape with your hand and cup widely around your ear. Press and make little circles with all fingers.
𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘱𝘩𝘺𝘴𝘪𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘩𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘶𝘳𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘯𝘭𝘺. 𝘐𝘵 𝘥𝘰𝘦𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘵𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦, 𝘥𝘪𝘢𝘨𝘯𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘴, 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵. 𝘗𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘴𝘴𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘶𝘴𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘤𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘦𝘤𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯.