– 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 this headache in the eyebrow. Be aware that there are several headache patterns just above or below the eyebrow. Take a look at this list of headache patterns to be sure that this is the right one. If you’d like to read more about how people describe this pattern and how they aggravate it, that a look at this other post.
Activities To Avoid or Change:
Chewing, Gnawing, Crunching
Avoid vigorous or uneven, or unusual jaw activity, like:
- crunching ice,
- busting popcorn kernels,
- chewing on toothpicks.
- taffy and excessive gum chewing
Stress and Strain
Clenching during weight-lifting or heavy work should be avoided. A mouthguard can be used as a reminder when clenching is not easy to stop voluntarily. If you look at Arnold during his career, he manages to keep his jaw down by using an open mouth screaming motion when working out. Still, you can see, during his heavier times, especially in the late 70s, his jaw gets fuller but goes back down after he stops competing.
Voice of Experience
During my twenties, I did all these things. Look at the picture of my ridiculous jaw in this other post. I was hospitalized for these headaches.
People do this quite unconsciously. I have many competitive athletes and executives who rhythmically clench while I’m working on them. When I mention it, they are usually surprised that they were doing it.
When this is a result of clenching during sleep, mouth guards are a great temporary solution. I’ve balanced the TMJ of many patients so that they no longer need splints or mouthguard. Still, many people find them to be a great reminder to avoid clenching.
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.
There can be little pellet-like salivary glands in this area that will not release and will get aggravated with excessive pressure. It is not likely that you will irritate them, just don’t romp on this in an effort to press out every little bump.
If you want to be extra gentle, use the stretches below with a little ice on that bottom edge of the jaw, near the angle.
You probably don’t want to use topical vapocoolants like IcyHot. They can aggravate the eyes.
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:
Basic TMJ Stretches
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. It can be hard to balance the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) when the base of the head is not properly balanced on the upper neck.
Do the whole stretch routine in the post above with ice-and-stretch. Follow up with a little extra stretching with an open mouth while using some gentle pressure on the edge of the jaw, where the green asterisks are. If the jaw is particularly thick and tight, stretch more than once a day and with more than the usual four reps. Stretch with more repetitions of gentle stretches. Don’t stretch with more forceful stretches. This process works best when it is gentle. Aggressive stretching or too much pressure can aggravate the trigger point.
I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at [email protected].
First, Get Your Head on Straight
Your first yoga line of defense against a painful TMJ is to focus on poses that better balance your head on your neck. These shoulder poses 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 a series of jaw-dropping poses. I feel
happier, sillier, like a little bird, better just looking at the pics. But, 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.
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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.
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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.