Exercise Shouldn’t Take a Holiday: Keep Up With TMJ Stretching

The Christmas season is officially here, and it’s one of the busiest times of the year. We all have shopping, decorating and cooking to do. But now is not the time to abandon healthy routines you have worked so hard to establish. In fact, it’s more important than ever to maintain your exercise routine this month. Why? For many people the holidays create stress, and if you suffer from TMJ pain, the last thing you want to do is exacerbate the feelings of pressure and anxiety. December is also one of the colder months of the year, and lower temperatures can bring about increased joint stiffness and pain.

If you regularly exercise, continue with your normal regimen. Exercising every joint and muscle in the body is an excellent way to improve your overall health and reduce TMD symptoms. At the very least, make sure you continue exercising your neck and jaw. It’s an essential supportive therapy and each set only takes minutes out of your day.

neck-stretchesFirst start with the neck

The jaw joint is important, but neck muscles need exercise, too. Cross your hands across your chest. Your left hand should be placed near your right shoulder, and your right hand should be placed near your left shoulder. Now gently rotate your neck backwards and to the right.  Hold this position for about ten seconds. Now switch sides. Gently roll your neck to the left. Hold this position for about ten seconds.

The neck muscles, part 2

Next, stretch your neck muscles by gently moving your head up and down. It will appear as if you are nodding in slow motion. Do this movement for ten seconds and then stop.

Now for the jaw: passive stretching.

Passive stretching is essential to improve range of motion. Slowly open your mouth as wide as you can. Hold your mouth open for three seconds. Now slowly close your mouth. Perform this opening and closing three times in a row.  Now stop. Repeat this an hour later so that this exercise is done six to eight times a day.

Remember, there is no cure for TMD. But every little thing you can do for your body makes all the difference in the world. Don’t take a vacation from essential jaw exercises this holiday season.

 

Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/aidan_jones/3117187373

Original Source: https://www.medcentertmj.com/healthy-living/exercise-shouldnt-take-holiday-keep-tmj-stretching

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