After working in chiropractics for a few years, we begin to see trends with new and current patients. With that in mind, we thought it was about time we talked about TMJ, the painful tension in the neck and jaw that we see among so many of our patients.
Temporomandibular joints, or TMJ, is a pain in the neck and jaw that affects approximately 15% of all Americans. With that many people having a similar pain, rest assured that there are many ways, including home remedies and your local chiropractor, to relieve the tension and get back to living life without the irritation. Here are a few things to try out from your friends at Complete Chiropractic Solutions:
1. Try softer foods.
Yes, we know, this is the most obvious answer we could have given but it is very important. Foods like chewing gum, taffy, steak and even hamburgers stacked high with vegetables can cause an added strain to your jaw and trigger the nerves that result in pain and lock-jaw. If you like these kinds of foods, simple jaw exercises such as placing a stack of tongue depressors and moving your jaw from side-to-side can help relieve those muscles and strengthen them over time. You might also try placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and slowly opening your jaw until you feel pain and gradually stretch out the muscles.
2. Heat packs
While a little less obvious than eating softer foods, heat packs will help to relax the muscles and draw away some of the tension in your jaw. Not only that, as you begin to experience this relaxation, your mind is less prone to contemplate on the tension in your neck and jaw, making way for your subconscious to aid in returning your jaw to its perfectly normal condition.
3. Talk it out
Now, we do not necessarily mean talking through tremendous pain in an attempt to relax your jaw muscles, but let someone know about the things that stress you out. For a lot of patience in our office experience TMJ or lock-jaw, simple conversations about their day, good experiences or what they look forward to in the future helps to relieve stress and get their mind in the right place. Complete Chiropractic Solutions has expert doctors, but sometimes what you need most is someone with a good ear to help get rid of those pestering pains.
When it is all said and done, every person has their triggers that can prompt the annoying pain called TMJ. In short, find something inside of yourself that places you in a state of happiness and relaxation, contemplate on that and enjoy a nice bowl of soft vanilla ice cream from the Spark Cafe on the Bentonville Square.