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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
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Mandolyn HB UserMandolyn HB User
Should you stretch/exercise the jaw when you have a flare up?

My left jaw has been super tight and sometimes painful for a month now- I can't open more than to put a spoon in my mouth, or shove soft foods in there to chew up. My dentist said to relax, but I was not given any info on how to treat the pain besides ice and heat. I feel like the more I keep it in this position (with eating and brushing) the worse it will become. I do massage that masseter on the left side (left side is only giving me problems) I press on that tight muscle but should I be trying to open my jaw slowly?

Anyone have any suggestions?

It seems like that muscle is getting worse/tighter no matter how much ice or heat I use. It just goes back to being tight.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:00 AM   #2
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Re: Should you stretch/exercise the jaw when you have a flare up?

Mandolyn

You need to work on the muscles on both sides of the jaw, not just the one side as the tension balance will be different and make things worse long term. You should also work on the surrounding area like the temple as tension normally radiates out and relaxing those areas can have a positive effect on the face and jaw.

Work on neck and jaw stretches as well as the jaw exercises to help get mobility in the muscles. I would also suggest stretching the shoulder and back areas to help reduce tension in the neck which can affect the jaw.

I know what this feels like and although it sounds simple it really does work. I do think you have tension in your neck and shoulders which is making this a lot worse and the best way I have been able to get mine under control is to start on the face and neck and then do full body stretching and also using a foam roller to help release tension in my body. This guarantees that I have no issues.

 
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:44 AM   #3
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Re: Should you stretch/exercise the jaw when you have a flare up?

I will ask my Chiro about stretches for the neck back. So far he has me doing some on the stability ball for my back to try to straighten my spine but I am pretty limited in what stretches I can do for my low back as it is painful when I try normal stretches. I don't know what is going on back there but I know a "no no" pain when I feel it.

So there are 4 pressure points to treat TMJ. Right above ear, at top of ear, middle of ear by face and below ear by joint -- all of these are by joints. Then at the base of your jaw in the corner area, pressing above that where that muscle is. I do this on both sides and hold for 30 seconds. I did this yesterday, twice. Today my jaw is pretty tight. I feel like it's only making it worse. I will let my dentist know next week if this is NOT getting any better.
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Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

Last edited by Administrator; 04-06-2013 at 10:55 AM.

 
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: Should you stretch/exercise the jaw when you have a flare up?

P.S. Lance-- I recently purchased a "spoonk" mat. It got 5 stars according to over 600 people. So I fell for it. I actually like it. It's like a plastic bed of nails. But it doesn't hurt at all. In fact when I position it to where my neck is on it I feel like closing my eyes and sleeping. I think it does help with tension. I only lay on it at night time while watching tv.
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Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #5
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lancewan HB Userlancewan HB Userlancewan HB User
Re: Should you stretch/exercise the jaw when you have a flare up?

Mandolyn

The spoonk mat looks cool, hope you get some relief. If you can have a look at MELT technique its a gentle way of doing foam rolling and I mean very gentle it uses the same principle as spoonk by resting on the roller the muscle relax then releases.

As a cheat for your stretching, have a hot bath and then do some gentle stretching or pilates afterwards the muscles will be more relaxed and it will be easier to get a result.

I have been thinking about your back and have a suggestion, start by doing stretches and mobility on your ankles and work up your calves, then do your hamstrings etc. A way to get some movement in your hips will be to stand on one leg, support yourself with a chair for example, then swing your leg backward and forward very gently. Do this 10 times on each side. do your spoonk for 10 minutes and repeat your ankle, calve and hamstring stretching followed by the leg swing.

See if that improves, to help get some movement into your spine you can gently turn your body left and right while standing on the spoonk, this will stimulate nerve endings in your feet and help with relaxation and also get some movement in your hips and back.

Let me know how it goes...

 
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:37 PM   #6
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Re: Should you stretch/exercise the jaw when you have a flare up?

Wow, I didn't think to stand on the spoonk mat! I should! My husband has been using it more than me. Every time I want to, he has it!

I worked 7.5 hours on my feet all day and am paying for it. I normally work 10 hours a week but was subbing in a school kitchen today. I just finished icing my back.

My jaw is feeling much better right now. In fact I am eating leftover pizza from yesterday and forgot about my jaw. So I should be careful. I don't want another flare up. I'm just happy I don't work Tuesdays!

As far as that leg swing- not sure if I should with my pelvis being tilted. There are a lot of things I cannot do -- if I try them I end up pinching a nerve or it feels like my bones snap back there. It's weird- hard to explain, but the feeling is not just a muscle strain... it's totally different. Like a disk being shifted or something. So I have to be very careful.
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Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

 
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