Many of you who suffer from jaw pain don’t realise that help is at your fingertips, literally. Massaging the joints and muscles affected can provide instant relief.
We asked Clinical Specialist Chartered Physiotherapist at Dublin’s Beacon Hospital, Aileen Flynn, to demonstrate how you can relieve jaw pain using simple massage techniques.
These techniques should help restore your smile but if the pain persists, make an appointment with your dentist.
My name is Aileen Flynn. I’m Clinical Specialist Chartered Physiotherapist in the Beacon Hospital. I’m going to talk to you today about some self-massage techniques to help manage temporomandibular-associated pain.
Causes of jaw ache can be stress, tension, trauma, grinding of your teeth. Symptoms involved in TMJ pain can include toothache, headache, migraines or ringing in your ears. The muscles involved in temporomandibular joint, the muscles around your jaw, are your masseter muscles, coming from your jaw up to your cheekbone, and your temporalis muscle from your cheekbone up to your temple. These are both involved in closing the jaw.
Self-massage techniques can help improve the mobility around the temporomandibular joint and also help relieve the pain originating from this joint. I’m going to show you three different techniques to treat this area.
Warm Up Muscles
The first technique is to warm up the fascia and muscles around the joint. You take two fingers onto the angle of your jaw and your mandible. You’ll be just on the masseter muscle here. What I’d like you to do is press in and slide gently up towards your cheekbone and then from your cheekbone up towards your temple and up to the forehead. You can repeat this four, five, six times to warm up the area.
The second technique is to help release any tension in the muscles, Trigger Point Release Therapy. For this, again, you’re going to get two fingers onto the angle of your jaw, come up, clench your jaw and you’ll feel the muscle pop up into your fingers. When you feel this, I’d like you to apply some pressure inwards. Apply and hold that pressure until you feel the pain and tension has reduced. You can repeat this again, five or six times. Finding different areas of tenderness along the jaw.
Mobilise the Joint
The next technique involves mobilising the joint. Take your fingers again onto the masseter muscle, just above the angle of the jaw. If you open and close your mouth, five or six times while applying the pressure, this will promote some more mobility in the joint. If you experience any pain or discomfort following any of these techniques, please seek the help of a qualified medical professional.