Two TMJ physical therapy exercises to try in Harmony, PA

TMJ Physical Therapy Exercises

Most people probably refer to the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, as the jaw joint. This is the joint where your jaw opens and closes, but it also allows the jaw to slide forward, backward and side to side. The high mobility of this joint is generally a benefit. However, repetitive movements or poor head and neck posture can lead to stiffness and pain in the TMJ. Here are two TMJ physical therapy exercises that Harmony, Pennsylvania, residents can try to reduce these symptoms: 

  1. Jaw glides

One way that you can reduce pain and stiffness in your TMJ is to try some exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles that move this joint. A therapeutic exercise that can help is called jaw glides, and this exercise is often prescribed by local physical therapists. 

You’ll want to begin this exercise by finding a stable chair to sit in, and you will also want to sit up straight with good head and neck posture. Next, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. From this starting position, open your mouth just enough so that your teeth don’t grind together and then glide your jaw forward. Your goal should be to move your jaw as far forward as possible without causing increased pain. Also, you should focus on keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth throughout the entire movement. Hold the jaw-forward position for five seconds and then glide your jaw backward until it’s in the starting position again. Your goal should be to repeat these steps until you’ve done eight to 10 repetitions. 

  1. Side-to-side jaw slides

Another TMJ physical therapy exercise your therapy specialist may recommend is the side-to-side jaw slide. This exercise can be particularly helpful for stretching the masseter muscle that raises your lower jaw. 

To get into the starting position for this exercise, you’ll need a stable chair, and you should sit up straight in this chair with good head and neck posture. Once you’re in this starting position, swivel your eyes to the right and then slide your jaw to the left. Your goal is to hold this position for about five seconds. After the five seconds have passed, you can let your eyes and your jaw return to the starting position. You should then repeat these steps with the directions reversed. Continue to repeat them until you’ve done the exercise three to five times in each direction. 

Panther Physical Therapy in Harmony, PA, can help you treat TMJ stiffness and pain

At Panther Physical Therapy’s clinic in Harmony, our team is highly experienced at treating TMJ issues. We offer free screenings, and you can use this service to find out the source of your TMJ problem. Our team can also create a personalized physical therapy plan for you. The plan we build you will make use of multiple therapy techniques, and some of these techniques may include: 

Don’t wait to start getting our help with your TMJ problem. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.