Hey Austen..I have TMJ also but it has progressed so far that the joints are all but desinigrated. The crunching sound drives me nuts and I have a friend that won't sit to me when I am eating because the noise my jaw makes is so loud. I have a bite plate and it hasn't helped...actually hurts because I clench in my sleep anyway. I have chewed ridges in my cheeks...lumps, bumps...you name it. I take valium at night now for RLS and I actually think I don't grind as much.
My mouth guard cost $850...boy did I get ripped off, especially since it doesn't work!
Hi austen. Its very small muscle your massaging.
You Take the oppsite hnd you are going to massage on say left cheek, you will use your right hand. you put your thumb inside your mouth and you index finger,and you will feel that muscle(you'll know its the one hurting )and begin massaging it with your thumb and index finger. Following this up with a moist warm towel seems to help alot too. Good luck, i hope it helps..
I just got back from my TMJ specialist yesterday. I have also been going to Physical Therapy 2 times a week for that and related neck pain. I have learned some great exercise techniques and would love to share them now.
1. using your index and middle finger, place them at the tip of your chin and apply about 5lbs of pressure (a little bit more than what it takes to whiten your fingertips when pushing on an object). advance your jaw forward SLOWLY and then backward SLOWLY 10 times.
2. using the same fingers, place them on your lower jaw bone just to the side of your chin and apply 5lbs of pressure. Move your jaw left then right SLOWLY. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.
3. open your jaw as wide as you can while making an "o" shape with your mouth. This prevents you from opening too wide to cause pain, but gives you a great stretch. Repeat 10 times.
4. Grab your ear lobes with your index finger and thumb and GENTLY pull downward. You may hear popping, but that is ok. Repeat 10 times.
5. Grab the tips of your ears and pull upward GENTLY. Repeat 10 times.
6. Put your tongue to the roof of your mouth and open your mouth slowly. Create suction between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and try to separate the two. You should make a popping sound when you separate. Repeat 10 times.
I have been doing these exercises for a couple weeks now and they really seem to help. I start with moist heat on both sides of my face, do the exercises, then rest. I try to do it in the morning and in the evening.
Hope this helps!
As with my Fibromyaglia, I am finding that very few (if any) people in my life understand how miserable it is to try to live and function with this constant pain. I have not slept well in months and am constantly exhausted! Everyone still seems to expect me to be the same person I always was, you know, happy,energetic.
I have a 15yr old daughter,12yr old son and 5yr old B/G Twins. I also work as a High school nurse 3 days a week (which has been a real challenge). Thanks For listening!