Tips To Taking Control Of Your TMJ Disorderby Anthony Wilson
TMJ suffers experience pain and eye problems such as bloodshot
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The TMJ is a hinge joint that connects the mandible, or the lower jaw, to the temporal bone of the skull, which is found on the front of the ears, on the sides of the head. These flexible joints let the jaw move up and down, and to the side -- movements that we do when we chew, yawn, or talk.
TMJ suffers experience pain and eye problems such as bloodshot eyes, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, pressure behind the eyes, and pain above, below, and behind the eyes. Pain or tenderness in the jaw is also associated with TMJ, as well as difficulty or discomfort when chewing, stiffness, bite problems (or malocclusion), locked jaw, or general facial pain.
Don't be surprised if you get a prescription for muscle relaxants from your health care provider to treat your TMJ. This type of medication may help for a few days -- or even several weeks -- to relieve the pain. The use of these drugs won’t treat the cause of your TMJ disorder. But, it will help to alleviate your pain symptoms. And for many, muscle relaxants are extremely helpful. Muscle relaxants are not only considered a controlled substance, but have been proven to be addictive. They have, in fact, become the most abused type of drug in the US today.
There are many medical and therapeutic solutions available to treat your TMJ disorder. New breakthroughs in TMJ pain research have shown that therapy can offer pain relief and may even lessen the pain to the point where surgery will not be necessary.
• Try Stretching – By asking your dentist or a physical therapist for help, you can learn a few stretching exercises that can help you to relax, repair, and rebuild the muscles and joints in your jaw.
• Changes to Your Diet – Simply changing your diet can be a very effective form of therapy. Several foods may aggravate your TMJ pain. Some of these types of foods include foods that are rich in sugar, yeast, and preservatives, as well as those with a lot of vitamin C and iron. You may also find relief by cutting back on salicylates (jams, jellies, and juices are rich in salicylates), wheat and dairy products.
There are certain super-nutrients that help to build the collagen of your jaw as well as repair blood vessels that have been damaged by this disorder. Among the most helpful are vitamin C, zinc and selenium. If you can't find enough of these nutrients through your diet, then you may want to augment your diet with supplements.
If you’re wary about pill popping, and surgery is not an option for you, don’t worry, there are still many things that you can do to sooth your TMJ pain. One of the most popular TMJ cures is a set of jaw-relaxation exercises that can help strengthen and relax your jaw muscles, eliminate the strain on the joints and other surrounding areas, and even relieve your TMJ pain:
• Jaw Muscle Stretch Exercise – Open your mouth and place the palm of your hand on the right side of your jaw while sliding your lower jaw toward your hand. Push against the jaw and hold for five seconds. This creates resistance to the sideways movement. Repeat this with your left palm against your left jaw, doing this five times on each side.
• Neck Stretches – Turn your head to the right to rotate your neck, then place two left-hand fingers on the lower left jaw. Push a little to stretch your neck muscles, holding this for five seconds. Rotate your neck to the left, this time pushing with two right-hand fingers on your lower right jaw. Again, hold this for five seconds.
• Shoulder Stretches – Pull your shoulder blades together and downward. Hold this pose for approximately 30 seconds. This helps you relax by improving your lung capacity and stretching your chest muscles.
- Anthony Wilson
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