Why Are We Living With Jaw Pain?
Too many people live with jaw pain simply because they don’t know that there are treatments available that can help. Jaw pain may be referred from pain from the neck but it commonly comes from the actual temporo mandibular joint and can be referred to as TMJD (temporo mandibular joint dysfunction). TMJD can occur for many reasons, some including motor vehicle accident, dental work, clenching or grinding and sometimes symptoms occur with no clear reason at all.
Pain is usually why people with TMJD seek treatment, but other signs of TMJD can include:
* Tenderness of jaw muscles;
* Clicking and popping noise during opening and closing the mouth;
* Difficulty opening the mouth;
* Jaw gets stuck on opening;
* Ringing in the ear; and
* Neck pain.
When jaw pain becomes persistent, registered massage therapists can work with the following techniques to help alleviate the discomfort:
* Release of muscles of the jaw and neck;
* Joint alignment;
* Correction of body posture; and
To supplement these treatments given by a massage therapist, the following self-care strategies are also recommended:
* Eat nutritious soft, mashed or pureed foods.
* Avoid prolonged chewing (e.g. gum, popcorn, bread crusts, tough meat).
* During dental checkups, ask for opportunities to close your mouth to relax the jaw joints.
* Be aware of your posture and avoid carrying a heavy load on one shoulder or in one hand – use a backpack or luggage cart.
* In cold weather stay warm with hats, scarves, and gloves to avoid clenching and tensing of shoulder and neck muscles.
* Self-care using heat or cold or self-massage can increase circulation and relax the muscles.
* Take some time for yourself and a mini-vacation from your jaw pain. A walk, hobby, movie etc can all help.
* Wear mouth guard at night that has been fitted by a dentist.
Many suffer needlessly from jaw pain. With the professional help of a registered massage therapist trained in TMJD treatment pain can be greatly relieved permanently. Registered Massage therapists at Trimetrics also work closely with clinic physiotherapists where physiotherapy intervention ( IMS or acupuncture or spine mobilization ) is appropriate to manage associated TMJ symptoms .
Helen Beishuizen RMT