Patients suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD) will have issues stemming from the joint that connects the jaw to the temporal bones in the skull. When it comes to temporomandibular joint disorder (and its accompanying pain, soreness and stiffness in your neck, face and jaw), a common treatment might include using massage on the surrounding muscles for pain relief. Some patients who have a massage on the muscles – that open the jaw – find relief from jaw pain along with less clicking noise in the joint and an increased ability to open the mouth.
TMJ/TMD can arise infrequently or as an ongoing condition involving chronic inflammation and pain in the chewing muscles that envelope your jaw. It can be caused by a misaligned bite, bruxism (grinding your teeth) or stress-related tooth clenching. Having a TMJ massage can help eliminate trigger points or “knots” in the muscle fascia that envelop the jaw area and is a popular therapy for TMJD patients since it doesn’t come with a lot of health risks.
Signs of TMJ/TMD
You might be experiencing problems with your TMJ joints if you experience any of the following conditions:
– Chronic migraine-like headaches, earaches, pain and pressure behind your eyes
– Hearing a clicking or popping sound whenever you open and close your mouth
– TMJ Lockjaw, where your jaw becomes so tight they pull the joint out of alignment, seize, spasm or freeze in that position
– Constant tenderness in your jaw muscles
– Swelling in your face
Types of TMJ Massage
Treating TMJD patients with massage therapy is a common option because it carries with it very little health risks. It offers significant pain relief, reduced tension in the jaw and increased overall jaw joint mobility. Some popular TMJ massages include:
1-Kneading Massage: Rubbing your fingers in a circular motion against the joints and muscles by your masseter muscles in the lower jaw (behind the molars and under the cheekbone) helps improve the function of your lymph nodes by clearing out waste.
2-Friction Massage: Applying constant, gentle pressure under the mandible muscle (the bottom section of your jaw along your jawline) to relieve pain.
3-Stretching Massage: Using both thumbs to press on one side of your face along the jawline right over your mandible muscles, dragging your thumbs against your jaw to stretch the muscle away from your upper jaw for pain relief.
Common TMJ Treatments
If massaging these trouble spots doesn’t offer relief or the pain never really subsides, you may have a systemic problem that needs treating. Our specialist can help determine the cause of TMJ/TMD and recommend different treatments.
Splint therapy involves wearing a mouthguard while you sleep to protect your teeth from grinding and clenching, muscle relaxants, aspirin, over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, applying moist heat, managing stress with exercise or learning relaxation techniques and finally, surgery, are all effective ways to relieve TMJ symptoms.
If you have any questions or concerns about your jaw or are looking for pain relief, we welcome you to reach out to our experts and schedule a consultation. We can help determine the cause of your jaw pain and help you find solutions that will increase your quality of life!