Having pain in your jaw is obviously very painful, but incredibly frustrating and usually quite difficult to treat. Jaw pain comes about for a lot of different reasons, the most common causes though are stress, past trauma and bad posture. These things can cause tension and rigidity in the ligaments and tendons in your jaw, which force a displacement of the jaw bone and results in the pain that you’re probably feeling. Pain when chewing, yawning or even talking are all very common symptoms of a condition called TMJ. You might not have it, but some physical therapists have developed TMJ exercises that are designed for people with TMJ to overcome their condition and start to live with a healthy jaw. So how do these TMJ exercises work?
Exercises for TMJ are designed to strengthen weaknesses, stretch/relax rigid tendons and ligaments and generally get your jaw behaving to the it should. When your tendons and muscles are relaxed and healthy, your jaw will move and function normally as well, as it will be moving along its natural path. This will stop any painful clicking or grinding against nerves and will stop the pain. People who suffer from jaw clicking, jaw clenching and teeth grinding when eating or even talking will also benefit from using TMJ exercises. The time these exercises take to start working can vary a lot depending on the person. Generally though, you should start to feel some sort of relief within a week of doing them. Some people are lucky and feel pain relief immediately, if only a small amount.
Basically what you’re going to be doing is opening and closing your jaw, rotating it from left to right; while adding resistance with your hands. This will strengthen up the base muscles of your jaw which control movement, these are important and will make the biggest difference. Then there is stretching of the mouth and jaw which will release tension and hopefully stop your jaw from displacing and stop the pain in your jaw.