Many of us are guilty of grinding our teeth occasionally and we might not even realize we’re doing it. If you do this, you probably already know it’s bad for you and can cause TMJ pain. Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ for short, is a common pain in the jaw muscles and joints. This isn’t the only thing that can cause TMJ pain, it can also come from bad posture, tooth or jaw misalignment, and even stress. 

TMJ pain can be extremely unpleasant to experience and could make it hard for you to use your jaw, but luckily there’s a way to help it. You might not think about finding physical therapy in Carbondale for jaw pain, but it can significantly help. Jaw exercises can be a great way to work the muscles in that area and build strength that can help ease your TMJ pain. 

Use these five jaw exercises, to help ease your TMJ pain.

Chin Tucks

Chin tucks are a simple jaw exercise that you can do almost anywhere without a problem, whether it’s at home or while you’re stuck in traffic, but you might also do it if you’re getting physical therapy in Hanover, PA. To do a chin tuck, start out with good posture. Next, all you’ll have to do for a chin tuck is pull your neck back, which should make it look like you have a double chin. Hold this for several seconds and then repeat. 

Resisted Open 

Putting some resistance on your jaw when you’re trying to open it can help strengthen the muscles and make opening and closing your jaw more comfortable. Physical therapy in Dunmore PA can also show you ways to strengthen these muscles. For this move, put your thumb underneath your jaw. With your thumb under your chin, you should slowly try to open your mouth. Hold your mouth open for several seconds and then close it. 

Resisted Close

This is similar to a resisted open, but instead you’ll be adding some resistance when closing your mouth. Using both hands, place your thumbs under your chin and your pointer fingers on your chin so that you’re able to grab hold of it. Open your mouth without putting any pressure on it and then hold onto your chin and add resistance while slowly closing it. 

Jaw Side to Side Pen Exercises

For this exercise, you’ll need a pen or a similar-sized object. Place the pen or whatever object you choose in between your front teeth. With the object slightly holding your mouth open, move your jaw from side to side. Although this exercise requires you to find the right prop, you can still do it at home or get additional help with physical therapy in Scranton.

Jaw Forward Pen Exercises

This exercise is similar to what you would do in the previous one with a slight change. Again, you’ll place the object in between your front teeth. Rather than move your jaw from side to side, you’ll move your jaw from front to back. When you move your jaw forward, your bottom teeth should stick out further than your front teeth, as if you have an underbite. 

Contact a Physical Therapist Today 

Physical therapy can help with some of life’s most common aches and pains, including jaw pain. At Cawley Physical Therapy, we help patients get the best physical therapy in Lackawanna County and guide them through the stretches and exercises that help bring pain relief.

If you’ve been dealing with pain that’s making your life difficult, contact us today to schedule an appointment.