TMJ Pain Relief with Simple Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

TMJ Pain Relief with Simple Exercises & Stretches – Ask Doctor Jo

Hey everybody it’s Doctor Jo, and today
I’m going to show you how to relieve TMJ pain. So let’s get started. So I like to start off with just stretching out the neck
muscles because they’re all kind of connected. So put one hand underneath you while you’re sitting, and take the other hand and just pull gently to the side,
but try and keep your head in a neutral position. This is going to stretch out
your upper trap muscles, so just pulling gently till you feel a nice stretch and
hold that stretch for about 30 seconds. After you do that, go ahead and stretch
the other side, so put your hand underneath. Gently pull over and hold that stretch for 30 seconds as well, and do this three
times on each side. If you get that stretched a little bit, then you’re just
going to do some active stretching so still keeping your head kind of in that
upright neutral position, and just turn your head all the way to one side. Hold
that for about three to five seconds, and then turn back the other way holding
that for about three to five seconds, and then just alternate back and forth about
five times, just kind of stretching everything and getting it nice and
loosened up. So after you do five of those, then you’re just going to go up
looking up towards the ceiling, and come back down. Now if you have any kind of
dizzy symptoms or anything like that, if you get dizzy a lot, be very careful
about when you look up towards the ceiling, so if that makes you feel a
little dizzy just look up a little bit, and then come down. So after you get
those neck muscles nice and loosened up, same thing with these just holding three
to five seconds and doing it five times each way. Then you’re going to do some
massaging of the muscles up in your jaw. So the masseter muscles here, those are
the ones that help us chew and eat, so they can get very very tight and then
cause some dysfunction in that TMJ. So what the best way to just kind of
massage those is take your fingers, the three fingers here, and just place them
on your cheeks. Kind of where that, it comes in. So find your jaw
and come down just a little bit, push in, and then push up, so almost like you’re
forcing yourself to make a smile. So push in and come up. So you don’t want to
push so hard where it’s painful, especially if you have some TMJ
dysfunction or pain, it might be a little painful, but you want it to feel good
like you’re loosening everything up, and if you’ve got a lot of tightness and
tension in here when you start massaging those muscles that should feel pretty
good. So just pushing in and then pushing up. So just do that for about one or two
minutes to get get those masseter muscles nice and loosened up. And then you’re
going to come up here to your temples where your temporalis muscles are. And
those have a lot to do with everything here too because they do this and they
help kind of pull everything right in here. So again just pushing in with those
fingers, but with these make a little bit of a circle motion so again you want
some pressure on there, you know you want it to feel good and relieve that tension,
but you don’t want it to be painful. So just do, you know, about ten one way, then
reverse it and do ten the other way, just to really kind of loosen up those
muscles, and then just alternate back and forth. So same thing, do that for about a
minute and then after you do that those muscles should feel a little bit looser.
So the last thing we’re going to do is some exercises. These exercises are going
to be isometric exercises which means you’re activating those muscles but
you’re not moving the muscles. So we’re really going to kind of work on that TMJ
joint now. Sometimes when you do these exercises, you’ll feel a little pop in
that joint especially if it’s out of alignment. As long as it’s not painful or
if it’s just a little bit of pain and then it goes away, that’s okay. It’s just
trying to realign itself. But you, what you want to do is make sure that your
jaw is in alignment, but your teeth aren’t touching. So your mouth is going
to be slightly open with a little bit of space between your teeth, and if you’re
out of alignment a little bit with that TMJ dysfunction, you want to kind of move
it so it’s lined up. I’m going to turn sideways so you can see these stretches
from from the side. So the first one is you’re going to put the palm of your
hand underneath your jaw, and you’re going to push upwards. Not hard, maybe a
20 to 30 percent of pressure so you’re not moving the jaw, but you’re keeping, you’re activating those jaw muscles to keep it in one spot. So right here I’m going to leave a little bit, a little
bit of space between my teeth, and just pushing up. So about three to five
seconds and do that five times. And just here, and pushing up. The next one is
going to now be pulling down. Make sure that you don’t bite on your fingers with
this one, so you might have to open it up just a little bit more, but make sure
that jaws in as much alignment as you can. Place your finger on the bottom set
of your teeth, and now you’re going to pull downwards. So again about three to
five seconds not as hard as you can but just so you feel that those muscles are
activating and working. So again about three to five seconds, five times. And
then the last two are going to be pushing the jaw inwards. So make sure you just put that palm of your hand right on that lower portion of the jaw, try and
keep everything in alignment, and now I’m pushing in that way three to five
seconds. Go ahead and switch sides in between, so it can take a little break
and doing that five times on each side. So those are your stretches and
exercises for TMJ pain. So just remember when you’re doing those exercises at the
end, those are isometric exercises. So the jaw should stay in one spot, so you’re
not pushing it over, it’s staying in one spot just getting pressure on it. So if
you’d like to help support our channel, you can click up here. And we’d like to
do a couple wall of thanks we got KKVORCARO and Sue M. Thank you so
much for your support. And please subscribe to our channel down here.
Remember be safe (keep it in alignment), have fun, and I hope you feel better soon.


  1. Here is another TMJ Pain Relief video I did a while back:

  2. Thank you for this video. I have Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia bilateral.

    I am going to try these and hopefully it helps.

    I have found that fasting every other day will get rid of my pain completely. The longest I fast is 4 days. Doctor told me not to fast but all she wants to do is give me drugs.


  3. You must read minds. Double-cervical disc replacement in Feb of '16.
    Doing good…but since finding you Dr. Jo …and CONNECTING the dots from plantar fasciitis to this…TMJ work… THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!

  4. if you have a lot of inflammation should you massage? i didnt know i had tmj, so my muscles have been pushed the wrong ways and im in a lot of pain.

  5. Is there any permanent treatment for jaw pain. . my right side is paining so much n I can't study nor I can sleep to ignore the pian . plz help me mam becoz I have to get rod of this asap coz its affecting my studies

  6. Thanks so much Dr. Jo. Notification squad. I was injured in a dental malpractice case and I like that this was under Sports. I feel better already. TMD is REAL and it doesn't mean you're a baby. Xoxo

  7. Hi Doctor Jo I’m suffering for tmj pain almost an year .And I have hard to open my mouth also .I saw an tmj specialist but they aren’t helping that much .Can u help me out this TmJ pain and opening mouth.Im have TMJ headache and ear pain also .Help me out Doctor.Reply me ASAP please

  8. I don't actually feel pain in my joint, but it gets blocked when I wake up and after I eat. Will these exercises help me? (I have already seen some specialists, no one could solve my problem…)

  9. How do you know if your jaw is "in alignment?" My jaw pops loudly every time I open my mouth. I can't find a place where it doesn't do that. I'm guessing that means something is off?

  10. Under a lot of pain from this. Its been 2 weeks. Hasn't hurt as bad as the first week and has gotten better. But now its at a pace where it doesn't get better or worse

  11. Hi…I have not been able to close my jaw completely for months. Went to Dr who prescribed Advil and Tylenol and hot/cold therapy. Not much help. Did these stretches and exercises a few times, especially the tilting the head with the hand under the thigh…I can shut my jaw!!!! Thanks!!! 😅😂

  12. This exercise is really helpful. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Did this 1-2 times a day and now I can sleep peacefully without having to worry about TMJ pain

  13. Hi- I had a root canal on a molar tooth on the bottom RIGHT side of my mouth 3 weeks ago. The Endodontist used a prop on the left side of my mouth to keep it open. My mouth was propped open for 1.5 hours the first visit and again 2 weeks later for an hour. Since the last visit, I’ve had tongue numbness and burning on the LEFT side of my face, cheek and tongue. In the last 3 weeks I’ve seen 4 doctors (ENT, Neuro, PCP and Rheum). Neuro says Trigeminal Neuralgia, PCP says Trigeminal Neurapathy, Endo and physical therapist say TMJ and/or compression injury to nerves when my mouth was propped open twice for a long period of time. They both think the pain will go away in the next few weeks. My dentist and Endo say that my mouth being propped open is unlikely the reason behind my numbness. I refuse to believe I have TN. My PT did perform dry needling and while that hurt, two days later my numbness is intermittent.
    In your experience, is it possible my jaw is just irritated and can TMJ cause tongue numbness?

  14. I've been having headaches quite frequently, and I think it's because my jaw tends to tense up a lot. I am really hoping these stretches and exercises help!

  15. Hehe, what if you have no lower teeth? I had all my teeth pulled by a shady (but well-intentioned) Dr back in c 1997. I took to the upper dentures with no problems. I wear them all the time- ESPECIALLY when I'm sleeping.
    I never adapted to the lower ones though.

    I have EDS 3, so I hyper-extend many of my joints (without meaning to). I've always had some TMJ since way back then, but it has become almost unbearable over the last c 7 months. Using my CPAP machine may have triggered the worsening.

    Great video! I'm definitely of fan <3

  16. Thank you, I didn't even know exercises like these were an option. No one locally would treat me except an oral surgeon, and I couldn't tolerate the splint (although, atm, unsure if the lisping, drooling, and gagging was truly worse than the pain from my recent injury). I was told the only other option was the ER for controlled substances and I didn't want to do that. I'll try this (I have hEDS, jaw arthritis and a displaced disc on the right side. I was doing much better until recently when I enunciated too hard and felt my jaw kick out and my ear buzz. It's been terrible off and on since).

  17. Thanks so much for this! Today's the second day in a row I've woken up in the middle of the night with my jaw locking every time I close it, and I have to painfully pop it open. The pop is so loud it makes my ears ring. These stretches helped relax it almost right away!

  18. I am so glad I found your video. I was barley able to open my jaw to brush my teeth. It was so painful. I'm now able to eat without pain. Thank you for this video!!

  19. I've always had a type of tearing sound in my right jaw from being hit there when I was young. Never gave me problems.

    But fast forward 20 years I now have clicking on the bone near the ear after I woke up a couple days ago. When ever I chew, or put pressure on my forehead, it causes this clicking noise and it's very annoying. There's also some slight discomfort and feels a bit tight.

    I believe falling asleep with bulky muffs on (was trying to ignore noise while I was reading) caused this, as it seems like because earmuffs rest along the jaw and I may have slept in such a way putting more pressure into my jaw which caused this as it happened the morning after.

    It's been 3 days now and it's not improving. Do these types of injury take longer, or could this potentially caused a permanent issue.

  20. Dr. Jo, thank you! It's been 2.5 years that I'm suffering from TMJ and nothing seemed to work, not even the nightgard. I tried many exercices previously, but the one that you are showing in this video worked for me. I have less pain and I can yawn without holding my jar! Thank you so much, you just don't know how grateful I am!

  21. So i had my wisdom teeth taken out 3 weeks ago and I'm noticing that i struggle with opening my mouth, would these be a good thing to practice just to get my jaw muscles working again?

  22. I feel like this helped my pain a little tonight, first video that has ever made me feel a little better after watching it and trying it, thanks hun. I wish you the best 🙂

  23. ive been experiencing toothache/facial pain for the past 2 days..but i cant really tell which tooth.. i tap on all the teeth but i dont feel any pain.. but the part of my body that im sure im feeling pain is the left side of my face.. could it be that its tmj and not a dental problem,??i massaged my face and the pain significantly decreased… and i was able to eat without experiencing pain n my worried that my tooth will get pulled out by my dentist eventho its healthy and the problem really is tmj

  24. Wait, the neck and the face are connected?

    Recently I developed aching on my face, jaw, nose, sensitive molars. Mostly on the left side, But also on the right, just not as intense.

    I have had neck pain for years, The left side of my neck and left shoulder are worse than the right.

    The left side of my face is also the one that feels the most tension, So there must be a connection then.

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