Two TMJ physical therapy exercises to use in Byron Center, MI

TMJ Physical Therapy Exercises

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is more commonly known as the jaw joint. This joint allows you to perform tasks like chewing, but it can also become painful due to weak jaw muscles or poor head and neck posture. Physical therapists in Byron Center, Michigan, can help you treat TMJ issues. There are two TMJ physical therapy exercises in particular that your local physical therapist might recommend. 

1.   Goldfish exercise

Weakness in the jaw muscles can lead to pain in your TMJ, but there are options you can use to strengthen these muscles. The goldfish exercise is a TMJ physical therapy exercise that’s commonly used to strengthen the jaw muscles. 

You’ll want to begin this exercise by making sure you’re in a position of good posture. This means that your head and shoulders should be back and your back and neck should be straight. Once you’re in this position, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. You’ll know your tongue is in the right position if its tip is touching the back of your front teeth. Next, place your left pointer finger on your left TMJ and place your right pointer finger on your jaw. 

From this starting position, slowly open your mouth about halfway. As you close your mouth, place a light pressure on your jaw with your right pointer finger to create a light resistance. Repeat these steps six times to complete one set of the goldfish exercise, and you should aim to complete five or six of these sets throughout the day. 

2.   Chin tucks

Many people may not be aware that head and neck posture has a strong effect on the jaw muscles and TMJ. One way to improve your jaw issues is to perform some TMJ physical therapy exercises that focus on improving head and neck posture. 

Chin tucks are an example of an exercise that can help you build better posture in these areas. To start, sit in a stable chair with your shoulders back and chest out. From this starting position, pull your head straight back until you get a double chin, and hold this position for five seconds. Then allow your head to return to the starting position. For the best results, you should try to complete 10 chin tucks per set. 

Advent Physical Therapy in Byron Center, MI, can help you find other TMJ physical therapy exercises

At Advent Physical Therapy in Byron Center, our team is committed to helping you find physical therapy techniques that reduce your pain and improve your ability to move. We offer complimentary screenings designed to help you learn the source of your TMJ issue. Our team can also build you a personalized treatment plan, and the plan we build for you might include therapy methods like: 

Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an initial appointment to begin treating your TMJ pain.