The following exercises are intended to relax muscles and increase mobility in the jaw joints, and should only be performed when symptoms are mild or non-existent. During moderate to severe pain episodes, the jaw should be rested and no exercises should be performed.
Jaw Positioning & Relaxation:
- Place your tongue against the palate as if to make a “cluck” like sound. Maintain the end of the tongue gently against your palate with your teeth slightly apart and your lips closed. Breathe in and out through your nose using your diaphragm.
- Maintain this relaxed jaw position during all neck and shoulder exercises.
- Place two fingers on lower front teeth. Slowly open as wide as is comfortable while pushing down gently with your fingers. Repeat 10 times.
- Cup palm under chin and open jaw slowly while gently resisting opening with your hand. Repeat 10 times.
- Look in mirror and bite teeth together, noting position of two center teeth in lower jaw.
- Open slowly while watching these two teeth and attempt to keep lower jaw “centered” as you open. Repeat 10 times.
Simple Opening / Stretch:
- Open jaw slowly only as far as is comfortable. Repeat 10 times.
- Open jaw about one inch. Move lower jaw to the right (only as far as is comfortable). Repeat 10 times and then do the same on the left side.
- Lace your fingers and place both hands behind your head so that your fingers are directly beneath the bumps at the base of your skull. Hold firmly to stabilize your neck.
- Keep your neck upright and nod your head. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 10 times.
- The movement should occur between your head and neck and NOT between your neck and shoulders.
- Nod your head. Glide your neck backwards and your head upwards. This should make you taller and feel as though you are straightening the forward curve in your neck. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 10 times.
- Raise shoulders up toward ears. Hold for a count of 5. Repeat 10 times.
- Do not allow your head to tilt backwards while doing this exercise.