Rocobado (TMJ) Exercises
These are exercises to help TMJ disorders and retrain the musculature and ligaments of your temporomandibular (TMJ) joint. Do not continue doing them if pain increases. It is normal to be somewhat tender initially. Try to avoid clicking the jaw joint(s) if at all possible. These exercises can easily be done on your way to work in your car while stopped at a light, while making supper or watching television. If you were referred for physiotherapy, continue to do these exercises unless otherwise instructed. Once you start feeling better do not stop doing the exercises. That is the best time to keep the muscles in shape by continuing to do the exercises to avoid further injuries with normal everyday activities. Do every exercise six times before going to the next one. You can warm up and relax the muscles by using a moist, hot cloth: i.e. moist towel in microwave oven.
- Resistive Opening. Place hand or clenched fist under chin and open jaw in a straight line against mild resistance. Do not push bottom jaw out and forward.
- Resistive closing with mouth open. Grasp chin and pull downwards gently and close mouth against this resistance in a straight line. Avoid clicking the joint.
- Place hand on right side of jaw and gently push against jaw to the left side. Resist this movement with jaw. Do not move the lower jaw. Hold for a count of 6. Repeat for the left side.
- Open mouth with the tongue placed up high at the back of the roof of the mouth. Open in a straight line. Use a mirror if you have to. It also helps to use toothpicks between the top and bottom front teeth. Try to line up the toothpicks as mouth opens and closes.
DO EACH EXERCISE SIX TIMES EACH, SIX TIMES PER DAY
Continue to monitor your clenching and/or grinding habit. Think about your posture all the time. Straighten out your back and shoulders. Avoid slouching. Keep feet flat on the ground while sitting. Avoid crossing your legs. Keep physically fit.
Remember: The resting position of the jaw: Teeth slightly apart, tongue resting on the roof of your mouth, just behind the front teeth.
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