When it comes to seeking treatment for your temporomandibular joint disorder, there are a few things that you can do from the comfort of your own home in order to help give you relief. Specifically, by taking an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, icing your jaw, and avoiding hard-to-chew foods like steak during a flare-up, you can help to ensure that you start to feel like your normal self once again. However, did you know that by properly massaging your jaw that you can also help to feel like yourself again as well? Read on to learn more about how you can perfect the art of jaw massage.
When you typically think of the term “massage” you probably associate it with back massages. However, massage is a form of treatment that can be used for a variety of things including to help treat your TMD. By helping to ease the pressure you may be feeling in your jaw and to loosen up the joint itself, massaging your jaw will help to bring you immediate comfort.
How should I massage?
Before you start to massage your jaw, loosen up the joints by moving your jaw slowly from side-to-side. If you feel a clicking sensation when you move your jaw, this is another symptom of TMD. After you have essentially “warmed up” your jaw, then you can start the actual massage process.
When massaging your jaw, the goal isn’t to further exacerbate the problem and cause additional pain. Rather, the goal is to relieve that pain, so make sure you aren’t applying too much pressure. Simply take your index and middle finger and extend them side-by-side in order to create your massage tool. Then use your fingers to massage your jaw line and where your jaw bones connect, near your ear. Using a circular motion, try adding a little bit of pressure to your massage— a little pain is fine, but if you experience too much, ease up on the pressure. Continue to do this on each side for about 60-90 seconds. Repeat a few times a day until symptoms are alleviated.
If you suffer from TMD, learning how to properly massage your jaw will bring you great comfort. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Leslie Sultan’s office today!