exercises to improve the function of the TMJ joint (jaw).

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by flossyfudleFran, Sep 22, 2009.

  1. hi all,
    i went to the dentest yesterday for my check up,and was supprised to be given a exercise leaflet as regards my issues with jaw pain, that ive had quiet badly in the past.

    so it prooves to me that some people do listen to us,and try to help us.

    heres a copy of the exercise leaflet.


    the purpose of the exercise is to prevent clicking of the jaw and to strengthen muscles which pull your jaw backwards.

    it will relax the muscles which pull the jaw forwards or to one side as you open your mouth,and this will take strain off your joints.

    set aside two five-minute periods every day,at a time when you are relaxed and have nothing on your mind.

    one good time is before you go to bed,another perhaps when you get home from work.

    sit upright in a chair,and carry out the following manoeuvres.

    1/ close your mouth on your back teeth,resting the tip of your tongue on your palate just behind the upper front teeth.

    2/ run the tip of your tongue backwards on to the soft palate as far back as it will go,keeping the teeth in contact.

    3/ force the tongue back to maintain contact with the soft palate,and slowly open your mouth until you feel your tongue being pulled away from the soft palate.

    do not try to open your mouth further.
    keep it in this open position for five seconds and then close your mouth.relax for five seconds.

    4/ repeat this manoeuvre slowly over the next five minutes,in a firm but relaxed fashion.

    as you open your mouth,you should feel tension in the muscles at the back of your jaw and beneath your chin.

    for the first few times that you do the exercise you should check in front of a mirror that the lower teeth move vertically downwards-that is,there is no slight movement from side to side as you open your mouth.

    if the exercise is being carried out correctly,there will be no clicks nor noise from the joints.

    if there is,you must be making some error in carrying out the exercise.

    do this exercise no more than the recommended amount for the first week.

    initially,it may seem to make your pain worse,but this will be as a result of unacustomed exercise.

    thereafter,do the exercise as often as you can and this will help to strengthen the ligaments around your jaw.

    if this exercise is carried out correctly and regularly,over a two to three-week period,you will retrain your muscles so that your jaw opens,closes, smoothly without clicks or jerks,and any pain that you are experiencing will subside.

    take care,fran.

  2. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    for passing on the info. Seems like a simple, therefore easy to keep up, exercise. I think I will give it a try!
  3. jole

    jole Member

    Thanks for the info...I have severe jaw pain and clicking/popping when opening my mouth or eating. I tried the exercise....the first time I must have opened my mouth too far 'cause I had the clicking.

    I'm anxious to see if it causes more pain....I'm in a FM flare right now....but I can say it made my tongue hurt...lol...

    Hoping it helps! ................Jole
  4. hi all,
    many thanks for taking the time to read my post,and for your replies.

    the dentist said to me that if the above excersises dont work for me,then she will be sending me to hospital.

    i told the dentist that at the moment im managing my jaw problem through what i eat.

    i dont eat hard foods, but do still like to eat pears, so i slice then up.

    but the dentist was very interested when i told her that ive been eating pumpkin seeds for many months now,and if i stop eating them,the jaw pain gets very intense.

    when i eat the seeds, after about two or three days of doing so,the jaw pain goes away.

    i found this to be true after i,d had a migraine attack and didnt feel up to eating any of my good foods..so i just didnt have the seeds for two or more days.

    the jaw pain developed and was agony.

    but it went away a few days after i started the seeds again.

    i have read that pumpkin seeds have anti inflamatory properties and contain vitamin K. whatever that is.

    so my dentist made a note in my records that im using diet, to ease my tmj joint pain.and was also going to try the above excersize

    i put the pumpkin seeds in my museli and milk.leave them to soak for about 10 mins,then the seeds go a bit soft,which is better to chew.

    i put one level tablespoon of seeds in there just once a day.

    my daughter has suddenly started having the jaw pain,i wonder if she is starting with this fibromyalgia,but i dont worry her.she has clicky sounding hips too.

    one thing we have in common is the skin problem called psoriasis.and there is a type of arthritis that can come with that.

    she,s so like me and just soldiers on in life.

    pat yourselves on the shoulder for coping with this fibro condition.

    well done all,and try to stay strong.

    love fran
  5. marw

    marw New Member

    Hi fran,

    Your post reminded me of an experience I had with TMJ. I did not know what was wrong, and had so very much pain....even my neck and ear as well as jaw!

    My doc sent me to a special dentist....an oral surgeon, I think....but only because this dentist was supposed to be so good at diagnosis. This dentist then said I had TMJ, but recommended a special physical therapist. I went and the therapist did certain massage techniques that are very gentle. I cannot remember if your exercise was one of them, but it might have been.

    Anyway, the therapist told me to continue these at home and taught me how, but I never needed to do it, because the TMJ went away completely and has never returned. (I did go to the therapist for several weeks, however.)

    I would recommend physical therapy for this for anyone living where there is such a therapist. My insurance paid for the entire thing, although I had to pay $100 for the x-ray at the dentist. (It was that x-ray that goes all around the face.)

    I have not used these techniques in so long I have forgotten them, but I can see if I still have the paper they were written on. If so, I will post it.

    And thanks, Fran, for your post. Any pain that we can get rid of or control is one less we have to deal with!

  6. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I went to physical therapy for TMJ, too, and it helped a lot. The dentist sent me to an oral surgeon, and he said that using a splint (a common treatment) actually makes many people worse. He also said that surgery generally does not help, either. Since he could have made a lot more money doing either of these things, I trusted that he was actually trying to help, rather than make money off me.

    I did the PT for a few months, 3 x's week, but it was really worth it. She did electric stim to start, then did some massage stuff, then had me do a bunch of different exercises, and then finished each session with ice. She also gave me a bunch of tips about what to eat/not eat, how to yawn without stretching my jaw too far, how to improve posture (the muscles in your upper back and shoulders actually have a big effect on TMJ), not to chew gum, and a few other things.

    I still have some problems with it on occasion, and when I have to have dental work done, I have to split it into more than one appt if it is going to be at all lengthy, but overall the improvement is huge. My jaw would barely open, would get stuck, would pop and click, and would hurt a lot before, and I could feel it into my neck and shoulders, and head and ears. Now I generally just get a little pain, it's usually only in my jaw itself, and it doesn't get stuck, and it opens as it should.