5 helpful exercises for TMJ relief

TMJ specialist

TMJ is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull. When you experience temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, you get headaches, pain in your jaw, ear, and neck, and it is hard to open or close your mouth without a popping, clicking discomfort.

In addition to seeing a TMJ specialist, what are some exercises you can do to relieve some of this pain?

TMJ treatment in Pittsburgh
TMJ treatment in Pittsburgh

1. Full goldfish exercise

Goldfish swim with care-free flexibility and you too can have some of this free feeling in your jaw if you practice this fun-sounding exercise.

  1. Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth
  2. Take your index finger and put it on the left TMJ while taking your other index finger and placing it on your chin
  3. Lightly put some pressure at each point with your chin dropped and your tongue placed on the roof of your mouth
  4. Repeat this process 6 times a day

2. Open mouth against resistance

In this exercise, you might look a little funny, but it will help relieve some of the pain you feel as a result of TMJ issues.

  1. Put your thumb beneath your chin
  2. Lightly push against your chin as you open your mouth
  3. Hold this position for approximately 3 seconds then close your mouth slowly
  4. Do this exercise 10 times
  5. Wall angle

You may not realize it but TMJ pain can result in upper back pain. Since the pain in these two areas can be tied together, this particular exercise helps relieve pain in both parts of your body.

  1. Place the back of your head against a flat wall
  2. Bend your arms to form a goal post shape, angling them at 90 degrees
  3. Keeping your arms and shoulders on the wall, move them up and down at a slow pace also ensuring your jaw is soft and relaxed while the back of your head remains against the wall
  4. Repeat this exercise for anywhere between 1-3 minutes

4. Up and down stretching

Have you ever taken acting classes? You might have been asked to perform an exercise similar to this one in preparation for a role. This stretching exercise can allow you to experience a bit of TMJ pain relief as well as having something fun and goofy to do.

  1. Relax your jaw muscles and open your mouth as wide as possible without going past your comfort zone
  2. Keep your mouth open for a few seconds
  3. Lightly close your mouth
  4. Repeat this exercise a few times within a day

5. Breathing

You might think “breathing? But I do this every day?” While this is true, there is a particular way to breathe that can help you relax, and in turn might decrease the TMJ pain you feel. Yoga and meditation often use a similar technique of breathing exercises so why not think about taking these exercises on as well?

  1. Inhale for approximately 4-5 seconds
  2. Exhale slowly out your nose

Do you live in the great city of Pittsburgh and need a TMJ specialist to help you with relieving some pain? Check out “TMJ treatment in Pittsburgh” on the internet to find a dentist with answers to all of your oral health concerns.

Dr. Alexandra S. George

Medically reviewed by Dr. Alexandra S. George - D.D.S., L.Vl.I.F. on April 27th, 2021