There are many exercises that are taught in physical therapy for TMJ dysfunction. I’d like to share these three easy exercises for TMJ dysfunction that has worked the best for my patients.
Most patients complain of pain to the jaw. It can radiate down the chin, up to the temple area and eyes, and neck. These exercises will help loosen up the tight muscles at the jaw and strengthen at the same time.
Exercise # 1
There is a proper way to perform chin tucks. Begin by tucking your chin in to bottom of your neck as if you’re making a double chin. Do not tilt your head down but instead move your head slightly backward until the back of your neck flattens out. You should keep your head in a straight line with the spine while tucking your chin in directly into your neck. You hold this position for 5 counts, and repeat 5 times. As you get better, you may perform this 2-3 sets.
For patient’s with TMJ dysfunction, this simple exercise is not always easy to perform. However, many patients have said that once they do it right, it does relieve the pressure off the affected jaw.
Exercise # 2
Chin Tucks with Overpressure
This is a progression of Chin Tucks. You simply perform the chin tucks as instructed above, and you place your thumb and index and middle finger on your face specifically under your cheek bones but closer to the nose and apply overpressure at the end of your chin tuck. Hold this position for 5 counts, and repeat 5 times. You may perform 2-3 sets as you get better.
This exercise helps relieve neck pain associated with TMJ dysfunction.
Exercise # 3
Chin tucks with Isometrics
Sitting up straight, you perform Chin tucks. You make a fist and place it under your chin and try opening your mouth using the lower jaw, applying pressure on your fist. Isometrics are contractions of muscles without movement. Hold for 5 counts, repeat 5 times, and again may repeat 2-3 times.
This exercise helps relieve tension on the muscle at the affected jaw.
If you are experiencing TMJ dysfunction, we have highly trained therapists at KTS Physical Therapy that can help you relieve the pain with longer lasting effects. Call us at (443) 906-6070 and make an appointment now.