TMJ Exercises

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: TMJ Pain


I have been treating patients with TMJ pain for over 20 years, and the simple fact is that Exercises to relieve TMJ pain work!

TMJ Exercises
TMJ Exercises are effective to treat TMJ Pain

TMJ dysfunction can be a very painful condition that can affect not only your jaw, but your arms, head and neck can also experience pain, stiffness and numbness.

However, in most cases these severe symptoms can be relieved with specific TMJ exercises. It just takes the right exercises - and a continued effort over time.

TMJ exercises are a much better alternative to TMJ surgery, which can have serious complications both in your jaw and upper body. Effective TMJ exercises help to reeducate your jaw to open and close correctly thereby easing the pain.

Basic Exercises for TMJ Pain

Here are some jaw exercises for TMJ to try:

First, stand in front of a mirror.

  1. Open and close your mouth slowly.
  2. Keep your head straight. If you suffer from TMJ dysfunction, your jaw will usually open to one side.
  3. Concentrate very hard on opening your mouth straight. This will be difficult at first because muscles on one side of your mouth or jaw are weak and do not function properly.
  4. Stay with it and you will achieve it. Be patient! After all you are undoing many repetitions of opening it wrongly.
  5. Open and close your mouth correctly 10 times, than rest.
  6. Do 10 repetitions of this TMJ exercise 3 times a day. This exercise will help the jaw re-learn to open and close correctly. Repetition is the key.

To ease muscle pain around your jaw due to tight jaw muscles, try the following TMJ exercise:

  1. Slowly open your mouth as wide as you can, then slowly close it.
  2. Slowly open your mouth to the right as wide as you can, then slowly close it.
  3. Slowly open your mouth to the left as wide as you can, then slowly close it.
  4. Repeat this sequence 5 times 3 times a day or until you feel a degree of relief from your jaw pain. If at any stage your symptoms increase seek professional help from a chartered physiotherapist working in this area.

If this does not fully ease your symptoms after 6 weeks, or you have severe TMJ pain, seek further advice and exercises in an attempt to eliminate this awful pain from your life without surgery. Early action is the key - do not wait until your symptoms are very severe.

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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