The temporomandibular joint â€“ the TMJ isthe joint between the lower jawbone the mandible and the temporal bone of the skull.The TMJ is responsible for jaw movement and enables chewing, talking and yawning. Temporomandibulardisorders, or TMD, refer to a group of conditions characterized by pain in the jaw area andlimited movement of the mandible. TMD may be caused by problems in the joint itselfor in the muscles surrounding the joint. Problems in the joint include: arthritis, inflammationand internal derangements. When the problem is in the muscles, the condition is calledmyofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is very common andcan occur in patients with a normal temporomandibular
joint. The syndrome is characterized by presenceof hyperirritable spots located in skeletal muscles called trigger points. A trigger pointcan be felt as a nodule of muscle with harder than normal consistency. Palpation of triggerpoints may elicit pain in a different location. This is called referred pain.Trigger points are developed as a result of muscle overuse. Commonly, the muscles of chewing,or mastication, are overworked when patients excessively clench or grind their teeth unconsciouslyduring sleep. The medical term for this condition is â€œnocturnal bruxismâ€�. A trigger pointis composed of many contraction knots where individual muscle fibers contract and cannotrelax. The sustained contraction of muscle
sarcomeres compresses local blood supply,resulting in energy shortage of the area. This metabolic crisis activates pain receptors,generating a regional pain pattern that follows a specific nerve passage. The pain patternsare therefore consistent and are well documented for various muscles.Trigger points in the masseter refer pain to the cheeks, lower jaw, upper and lowermolar teeth, eyebrow, inside the ear and around the TMJ area. Trigger points in the temporalisare also associated with headache and toothache from upper teeth. The main culprits of myofascialpain in the TMJ area are the pterygoid muscles. Trigger points in medial pterygoid refer painto the TMJ region in front of the ear, inside
the mouth and upper outside of the neck. Theymay also manifest as sore throat and difficulty swallowing. Pain from lateral pterygoid triggerpoints can be felt in front of the ear and on the upper jaw.Treatments aim to address bruxism, to relieve muscle spasm and release trigger points. Treatmentoptions include: Therapies: stress management, behavior therapy,biofeedback to encourage relaxation. Dental night guards: Splints and mouth guards to protect the teeth from damage. Medication: pain relievers, muscle relaxants,botox injections. Trigger points release techniques such asneedling and â€œspray and stretchâ€�.
TMJ Exercises Stretches to Relieve Jaw Pain Ask Jo
Hey everybody, it’s Jo. I got an emailfrom Barry and he was having some TMJ pain. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint whichis your jaw joint right there. And I’m gonna show you today just some simple stretchesand strengthening exercises to get that TMJ feeling better. So we’re just gonna startoff, you want to start off gently with these exercises, you don’t want to push very hardbecause this joint is small and it can get irritated very quickly. The first one youwanna do is you’re gonna use the palm of your hand so you’re not pushing with your fingers,but you’re using just your palm. You’re gonna put your palm on one side, doesn’t matter becausewe’re gonna do both. And you gonna keep your
mouth and teeth aligned. So the jaw staysin one spot, your teeth stay aligned so they’re not going back and forth like that. You’regonna keep it nice and still and you’re gonna push your palm in that way. And just holdit in place. A nice little 5 second push. Good. See how my jaw’s not actually movingbut I’m just putting gentle pressure on one side. Then after your do that maybe 35 times,5 seconds a piece, then you’re gonna switch and do the same thing on the other side. Somake sure you don’t just do one side and not the other side cause you wanna keep it even.The next one really simply, you’re gonna open your mouth just a little bit and put yourfingers inside but make sure you don’t bite
your fingers. You’re not biting, your keepingagain your jaw still and pushing pressure down this time. So you’re gonna put your fingersin your mouth on your bottom teeth, and just push down. See again my jaw’s not moving.I’m not stretching it open, I’m keeping it in one spot. Again just start off with about5 seconds of gentle pushing and do that about 5 times. The last one is to stretch out thejoin back here. You’re going to put your palm on your chin and just push straight back.Again you wanna make sure that your teeth are in alignment. If your teeth are over hereor over here and your moving it, you’re going to irritate that joint. So just palm on thechin. And relax your jaw. And push straight
back. So those are the exercises to strengthenand stretch out your TMJ joint if you’re having some pain in your jaw. Just start off withabout 5 seconds and then build your way up, but make sure your not pushing too hard. Theseare gentle stretches for that small joint in your jaw. If you have any questions, pleaseleave them in the comments section. And if you’d like to check out some more tutorials goto AskJo . Be safe. Have fun. And I hope you feel better soon!.