Ways to Control TMJ Pain
People who have problems with their temporomandiular joints (TMJ) often suffer from pain spells. Some of these come and go, like toothaches, migraines, earaches, jaw aches and other facial pain. However, other people are continuously hurting, defining it as chronic pain.
Meditating and doing calming exercise like yoga helps you to de-stress, and when you learn to relax, you are less likely to have a tense jaw. Other ways to control TMJ/TMD include Botox, mouth guards, hypnosis, and knowing your triggers.
In the long-term, changing your diet and exercise routines could allow you to have complete control over your TMD. For example, cut chewing gum out of your life and avoid fried foods, caffeine and saturated fats that can cause inflammation. Instead, eat as many soft foods high in flavonoids as possible to control join pain. You can find flavonoids, or plant-based antioxidants, in cooked fruits and veggies.
In some studies, glucosamine was found to have a positive affect on TMD because it helps to rebuild joint cartilage to improve motion as well as reducing pain. In fact, one study showed glucosamine to work as well as over-the-counter pain relievers for relieving TMJ symptoms. It’s important to note that glucosamine may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you’re taking blood thinners, so ask your doctor before taking it.
Another way to control your TMJ pain with diet is to add Vitamin C. This vitamin is known to help the body make cartilage and improves the range of motion of your joints, including the jaw. Magnesium and calcium are also thought to help the jaw muscles relax, although there is really no scientific evidence of this fact.
A natural way to control your TMJ pain is by using herbs. With this method, it’s important to work with a health care provider or holistic doctor, as certain herbs can counteract medications and supplements. Cramp bark and Iobelia are thought to reduce muscle spasms by rubbing a few drops of each herb onto the joint.
A homeopathic doctor will take into account a person’s physical, emotional and psychological chemistry and determine the best treatment for the individual. For example, a homeopath may suggest causticum for burning pains and hypericum perforatum for sharp, shooting pain. Kalmia is said to help with facial pain, especially in the joints. If your TMJ pains are from a trauma or injury, ruta graveolens could be the best option, while magnesia phosphorica is given for muscle cramps.
Using contrast hydrotherapy, or alternating hot and cold water to the aching joint, is an excellent way to relieve the pain and swelling in your jaw area. Use ice packs and a heating pad and alternate each, three minutes with heat and then one minute with the ice. Do these up to five times per day, repeating three times for each set.
It is possible to relieve pain and TMJ problems with the right treatment plan, as 75% of people have controlled the disorder with simple exercises and therapy. Massage therapists, chiropractors, and acupuncturists can all come up with treatment plans to help control your TMJ.