Three TMJ physical therapy exercises you can try right now

TMJ Treatment | Exercises

How familiar are you with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ)? Unless it’s in pain, there’s little chance you’ve given the TMJ much though. However, these little joints play in important role in your daily life. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to smile, laugh, talk or even chew your food.

Some conditions cause pain in one or both of your TMJs that can affect these abilities. Fortunately, there are a few physical therapy exercises you can perform right now that may help. 

Three TMJ physical therapy exercises to try now

These exercises are designed to improve the strength and flexibility of the muscles and soft tissue in your jaw. This helps improve support for the TMJs and prevent stiffness. 

The three exercises you may want to try for TMJ are: 

  1. Relaxed jaw exercise — In this exercise, gently press your tongue against the roof of your mouth. While holding your tongue here, slowly let your teeth come apart as you relax your jaw muscles. Hold your jaw like this for a few seconds before closing and repeating a few times.
  2. Goldfish exercises — Place one finger on just below your ear where the TMJ is located and place the other on your chin. While gently pressing your tongue against the roof of your mouth, use the finger on your chin to help open your mouth completely and close it. Repeat this exercise six times to complete a set with the goal of performing six sets per day. If opening your mouth all the way hurts too much, try a partial goldfish exercise and open the mouth only halfway.
  3. Chin tucks — Stand or sit with your back and neck straight and your shoulders and chest squared. While in this position, slowly tuck your chin back toward your neck. Hold this for a few seconds before releasing to a normal resting jaw position. Repeat 10 times at least for one set per day.

If you’re unsure about whether these exercises are helpful or safe for you, talk to your doctor or physical therapist. Physical therapists are experts in identifying which treatments are right for you when suffering from a condition like TMJ dysfunction. They can form a personalized treatment that may or may not include these exercises to help you recover from TMJ dysfunction.

Visit Excel Sports & Physical Therapy for TMJ treatment

Is TMJ pain keeping you from laughing with your friends and family or enjoying your favorite meals? Our physical therapists at Excel Sports & Physical Therapy are here to help. Contact our team today for more information about TMJ treatment or to schedule an initial appointment.