TMJ Pain Relief

Written by Dr. Steve Chaney on . Posted in Pain Relief, TMJ Pain Relief

TMJ Treatment Can Relieve Stress & Pain

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT –The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

tmj pain reliefTMJ is the common term for a jaw condition called temporomandibular joint dysfunction. The muscle that is key to the TMJ pain relief treatment described below is the masseter muscle.  The holiday season is “famous” for increasing stress as we rush around, adding more “to do’s” to our lives. Aside from the usual work and family commitments, the holiday’s mean extra shopping, parties, and therefore, stress.

TMJ Symptoms

Common symptoms of TMJ are:

  • Jaw Pain
  • Clicking when opening your mouth
  • Clicking while chewing
  • Jaw moving toward one side
  • Ear pain
  • Trouble opening mouth fully

While there are other pains that are common with TMJ, these are the most prevalent.

A Common Cause of TMJ Disorder

tmj pain relief muscleDo you find yourself clenching your teeth? Do you chew gum?  These are two of the most common causes of TMJ.

Your masseter muscle is a small, but powerful muscle that goes from above your back teeth, to your jaw.

You can feel it if you put your flat fingers on the back of your cheek and clench your teeth.

Your masseter is used when you chew.  As you hold your fingers on your masseter muscle, clench and open your jaw repeatedly. Like any other muscle in the body, it can be subject to repetitive strain injury. Normally you open your mouth wide to put in food, and then chew. This motion both contracts and lengthens the muscle.

However, if you chew gum you are contracting (shortening) the muscle, but not lengthening it. And it stays contracted if you clench your teeth when you are stressed, or at night while you sleep.  Eventually the muscle will form spasms from the repetitive movement.

It is called TMJ because of the joint the masseter crosses over at the very back of your jaw. The problem is the way your movable jaw attaches to your skull. As the muscle tightens into the spasm, it prevents your jaw from opening properly.  When one side is tighter than the other, your jaw will move toward the tighter side. As this happens the bones click over each other and you will feel pain.

TMJ Treatment Saved This Woman From a Lifetime of Drooling!

pain freeSeveral years ago a woman came to the medical office where I had my therapy practice. Both sides of her jaw were so tight that she couldn’t open her mouth at all. She had to “eat” liquefied food through a straw and her fear was if she regurgitated, she could choke.  The next day her oral surgeon planned on severing both masseter muscles. This surgery meant her mouth would hang open permanently. This would result in her drooling for the rest of her life! What a nightmare!

Her masseter muscles felt like rocks had been stuffed into her cheeks. The medical doctor who owned the office understood repetitive strains and wouldn’t give her surgical clearance until she saw me. I taught her the following TMJ treatment, and in just 15 minutes she was opening and closing her mouth normally.

First, I worked on her muscles, then I taught her how to do it. The TMJ pain relief treatment starts with first pressing the muscles as described below, holding the pressure, and then releasing it. She did this several times, alternating between her right and left sides. The last part of the TMJ treatment is applying pressure to both sides at the same time. Then while still holding the pressure, I told her to just open her mouth slowly and she did.  Without pain!

She started to cry because she was only one day away from a lifetime of drooling. And the best part is it only took 15 minutes to solve.

TMJ Pain Relief Treatment

tmj pain relief treatmentTo begin the TMJ pain relief treatment, place the length of your three middle fingers on both jaws.  Clench your teeth so you can feel the muscle bulge under your fingers.

Press deeply on just one side, feeling for the “knot” in the muscle. Press in for the count of five, and hold it for the count of five.  Then slowly release that side and repeat it on the opposite side of your jaw. Go back and forth, repeating this several times.

Feel along the muscle and find other knots and repeat the sequence. Do this to each spasm you find.

Go to the point just in front of your ear lobe and press.  If it hurts, there is a spasm. Do the same treatment. This is a small area so you’ll probably only need one finger to be effective.

After you are finished treating each spasm, put your fingers on both masseter muscles at the same time. Now, slowly open your mouth to stretch the muscles.

That’s it!  It’s easy to apply this TMJ pain relief treatment when you know where to go and what to do.

Treat Yourself To Pain Free Living  has the TMJ treatment and also has treatments for your entire body.  You don’t need to be in pain when it’s so easy to find solutions you can do yourself.

Discover the secret of why you hurt and how to stop the pain FAST!

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

 

 

About The Author

julie donnellyJulie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Latest Article

How to Choose the Right Pillow

Posted April 17, 2018 by Dr. Steve Chaney

Wake Up Each Morning Pain Free

Author: Julie Donnelly, LMT – The Pain Relief Expert

Editor: Dr. Steve Chaney

 

how to choose the right pillow without headachesThe way you sleep is often a key to discovering the cause of headaches and more. If you wake up with neck pain, a headache, or you suffer from ringing in your ears, dizziness, or ear pain, there is a good possibility that it may be caused by the way you are sleeping. Your pillow may be the culprit.  But if you need to know how to choose the right pillow for you, it’s easy.   It just takes a little “investigation.”

 

How to Choose the Right Pillow if You Sleep On Your Side

Your head, neck, and spine need to always stay in a nice straight line, just as it is when you are standing up, but that takes a little thought and understanding of the way you sleep.  So, get comfy in your bed and then notice how your head is resting.

how to choose the right pillow to sleep painfreeIf you sleep on your side, your pillow needs to be just the right size, so your head doesn’t point down toward the mattress (your pillow is too soft) or up to the ceiling (your pillow is too thick). Either of these positions will make the muscles on the side of your neck stay in the contracted position for hours and pull your vertebrae in that direction, especially when you try to turn over to your other side.

Your SCM Muscle May Cause Serious Problems

You also need to notice if you turn your head a bit, especially if you are turning into your pillow or turning your head up toward away from your pillow. In either of these two cases you will be causing your sternocleidomastoid (SCM for short) to be held shortened for hours.

Your SCM originates on your collarbone and inserts into the bone behind your ear.  When it contracts you turn your head to the opposite side. However, if the muscle is tight (for example, when you’ve held your head turned toward one side for an extended period of time) and then you bring your head back so you are facing forward, the tight muscle will pull on the bone behind your ear and cause havoc.

The symptoms for a tight SCM are tinnitus (ringing in the ear), dizziness, loss of equilibrium, ear pain, headaches, pain in the eye and around the skull, pain at the top of the head, and even pain in the throat. Amazing! What’s even more amazing is that it’s rare that this muscle is considered when a medical professional is searching for the cause of your symptoms.

These are the things to know when considering how to choose the right pillow if you sleep on your side.

How To Choose The Right Pillow If You Sleep On Your Back

how to choose the right pillow for sleeping on your backIf you sleep on your back, your head should be on the mattress (not propped up with a pillow) and you should have a tiny support (like a folded washcloth) under your neck.  Or, you can have a wedge pillow that starts at your mid-back and gently raises your entire trunk and head up while still allowing your head and back to be in a straight line.

It’s always a challenge for people who toss and turn during the night, sometimes on their side and sometimes on their back.  The best thing I’ve found for this situation is to have the pillow below shoulder level so when you turn on your side your shoulder will automatically slide to the edge of the pillow while still supporting your head properly, and when you turn onto your back, the pillow will start at shoulder level so your head and neck are supported, but your head is being pushed in a way that causes your chin to move down to your chest.

hip pain causes and treatment pain freeIt’s tricky, but I can personally attest to the fact that it will work.  I can always tell when I’ve had my head tilted (I toss and turn during the night) because I will wake with a headache. When that happens I’m grateful that I know how to self-treat the muscles of my neck and shoulders so the headache is eliminated quickly.  If you already have Treat Yourself to Pain Free Living,  you can self-treat all your neck and shoulder muscles to release the tension.

How To Choose The Right Pillow If You Sleep On Your Stomach

If you sleep on your stomach, this is the one position that is so bad that it behooves you to force yourself to change your position. Your head is turned to the side and held still for hours, putting a severe strain on all your cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae. Not only will this cause headaches, tinnitus, and a list of other pains, but it can cause problems down your entire spine. It can also impinge on the nerves that pass through the vertebrae on their way to your organs.

If you do sleep that way, let me know and I’ll give you some suggestions that work to change your habit of sleeping. It takes time and energy, but the results are worth the effort.

In every case, the way you sleep may cause neck pain that won’t go away until the pillow situation is resolved.

Now you should know how to choose the right pillow for the way you sleep.

Wishing you well,

Julie Donnelly

About The Author

julie donnelly

Julie Donnelly is a Deep Muscle Massage Therapist with 20 years of experience specializing in the treatment of chronic joint pain and sports injuries. She has worked extensively with elite athletes and patients who have been unsuccessful at finding relief through the more conventional therapies.

She has been widely published, both on – and off – line, in magazines, newsletters, and newspapers around the country. She is also often chosen to speak at national conventions, medical schools, and health facilities nationwide.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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