Dealing with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can often leave you feeling defeated. Pain, irritation, and swelling around the jaw are common symptoms of this condition. If you're tired of living this way and want to make a change, you should strongly consider these TMJ treatments.
Maintain a Soft Diet
Your jaw is already sore when you have TMJ disorder, so naturally, it makes sense to limit the amount of jaw movement that occurs on a daily basis. You can do just that when you stick to a soft diet. It may be hard at first, but you won't have to chew as often nor exert as much force that would be required for hard foods.
There are many great soft foods for this condition, including cooked vegetables, eggs, soups, ground meats and some fruit. At all costs, avoid foods like chips, candy, nuts, and foods that require you to stretch your mouth out a lot.
Utilize Heat and Ice
Two of the best resources when dealing with TMJ disorder are heat and ice. Although different, they work in a similar fashion. They both are designed to decrease inflammation and subdue pain levels throughout the day.
For heat, try to find moist heat packs. They can alleviate pain and won't produce too much heat that would cause skin irritation. As far as ice, there are many methods you can try. One of the best and most affordable options is using a frozen towel. It can soothe your aching jaw muscles and feels great against the skin.
Engage in Relaxation Activities
When you're stressed, sometimes your jaw can actually lock up and cause your TMJ symptoms to worsen. That's why you need to combat stress levels throughout the day, which you can do by engaging in relaxation activities.
Yoga, for example, can help you find a peaceful state so that pain is not as noticeable. You can also meditate at home, focusing on deep breathing techniques. As you slowly inhale and exhale, your body won't be as prone to receiving pain signals from the brain. Deep-tissue massages are also helpful in leaving you in a tranquil state.
Just because you have TMJ disorder, doesn't mean you can't live a normal, healthy life. You just need to make some slight lifestyle changes, focusing on techniques that effectively alleviate pain. The more proactive you are, the less pain and stress you'll have to face. Contact a service, like The Alpher Center, for more help.