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Self Care – Earache with Jaw tension

Self-Care includes
– Activities to avoid and change,
– Strategies for quick relief,
– Stretching for longer-lasting relief,
– Corrective Exercises, Yoga, and more…

Here, you will find ways to get relief from the trigger point that creates earache with jaw tension. If you’d like to read more about how people describe the pain or what activities create the pain, look at this other post.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

Chewing-Ice MARCH 26, 2012 by Kyle Stankiewicz

Avoid vigorous, uneven, or unusual jaw activity, like crunching ice, busting popcorn kernels, or chewing on toothpicks. Taffy and excessive gum chewing are also problematic.

The Night Splint

When this is a result of clenching during sleep, mouth guards are a great temporary solution. In the long term, when the TMJ is balanced, people should not need them. Integrative Bodywork has freed many of my clients from the night splint.

Clenching while Straining

Clenching during weight-lifting or heavy work should be avoided. A mouthguard can be used as a reminder when it is not easily stopped voluntarily.

For Temporary Relief:

A little gentle pressure while opening your mouth to stretch can offer great relief here. I’ve done that many times when it is bothering me.

Feel for the lower edge of the cheekbone. About halfway along the bottom of that ridge, where the green asterisk is, you will find a more tender spot. Gently apply a small amount of pressure. After a few seconds, it will begin to soften and become less tender. Open your jaw as the tenderness releases.

Don’t be too aggressive with the pressure or the stretch, as you may aggravate this and make it a bit more intense. If that happens, try the stretches below.

These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or doesn’t respond to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

These stretches are simple and usually offer quick relief, especially when used with ice-and-stretch.

For more complete, longer-lasting relief, precede this by stretching the upper neck with The Box. The upper neck provides a stable base for the TMJ. Upper cervical imbalances perpetuate TMJ problems.

I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at integrativeworks@gmail.com.

Yoga Corner

First, Get Your Head on Straight

The first line of defense against a painful TMJ is to focus on poses that better balance your head on your neck. These poses shoulder offer stretching and strengthening of the neck. This process involves poses where you twist or tilt, like Warrior II. Also, strengthen your neck with poses that suspend it in space, like planks.

Then, Focus Your Efforts

This post from yogainternational.com has some neck balancing poses and this series of jaw-dropping poses. I feel happier, sillier, clownier, like a little bird, better just looking at the pics. Seriously, this series is more intense than this pic suggests. It has a reasonably rigorous approach, including neck stretches using a strap and exercises while supporting your neck with a roll yoga mat. It’s worth taking a look.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

Other trigger point patterns
have similar areas of referral and impaired activities.

You might also take a look at other posts that refer to the TMJ or ear.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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*This site is undergoing major changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.