TMJ is a common disorder that affects the jawline connective joint. This disorder is usually caused as a result of arthritis, grinding of the teeth or an injury at the jaw. The disorder more often causes stiffness and severe pain in the jaw. The severity of the symptoms of this disorder can be decreased with physical therapy and moderate treatment.
Apart from causing pains, it can cause locking of the jaw if left untreated and thereby making it difficult to properly close and open the mouth. It can also affect the jaw alignment, thus bringing about an uneven bite.
This disorder is normally treated by administering a combined medication for symptoms of pain. Over-the-counter medications can be the right option for treating pain. Those with severe cases of this disorder can consider taking a muscle relaxer to prevent labored or locking movement by loosening the jaw muscles.
TMJ Physical Therapy
Your doctor can also recommend you to a physical therapist also to increase temporomandibular joint flexibility and strengthen the jaw muscles.
A common exercise commonly recommended for patients with this disorder is the max opening. This is performed by first opening the mouth as wide as possible, then you place a hand on the chin, and you try to increase the opening by making a gentle push. You need to hold on this for half a minute before you can release. While performing it, there usually occurs a feeling of a slight pull but then you will not experience any pain. This exercise needs to be done at least four times each day.
Lateral movement exercise is another one you need to try. You can start by the left lateral movement which is performed by sliding the jaw the left side as far as possible. Using your right hand, gently push the jaw for an additional stretch to the left. Hold on this for half an hour and then release. There is a feeling of a slight stretch but no pain shall be experienced. After this, use the same process to perform the right lateral movement. You need to repeat these four times each day.