Yoga For TMJ Disorders

(February 16, 2009)

What are yoga poses to help people with TMJ disease? Or people with back and shoulder problems?

TMJ disease or Temporo Mandibular joint disorder is caused by the effects of emotional and physical stress on the structures surrounding the joint. These include:


  •     Teeth
  •     Muscles of the face, jaw and neck
  •     Blood vessels, ligaments, and nerves nearby
  •     Cartilage disk at the joint

For instance, as a result of daily stress you may tend to clench and grind your teeth. This could happen both during the day and while you sleep at night. This means you clamp your bottom and top teeth tightly together, particularly the back ones. The grinding force of clenching, results in pressure on the tissues, muscles, and other structures surrounding the jaw. Poor posture can also lead to and cause TMJ. For instance, if you hold your head forward looking at a computer all the time you end up straining the muscles of your neck and face. Poor diet, lack of sleep and stress are some of the other factors that could worsen TMJ symptoms.

Yoga for TMJ

Certain jaw adjustments are recommended. Sit in Sukhasana (Easy Pose) and open your mouth as wide as you can. Bend your neck and tilt your head on your right shoulder. Next tilt it to your left shoulder. Continue doing this exercise for 2 – 3minutes and you will find that that this will help.

Try placing your hand on whichever side is "outside" on of your bottom jaw. The center of your fingers should be around your cheekbone, and your palm flat against your jaw. Apply a soft pressure; don’t try to force your jaw over too much. Let it be more like creating a funnel to push against. While applying this pressure, you should open your mouth wide and then shut it again (it should feel like you are pushing it back into place, gently though). Do this 10 – 15 times at a time several times a day.

Yoga For back and neck problems

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is a very basic yoga pose that is supposed to be excellent for back and neck problems. Some say the y find it challenging, especially when the back and neck hurt, butt is known to provide numerous benefits. In fact it is an asana (pose) that beginners and veterans alike are continuously working on improving. Bearing this in mind, it's okay if your Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose) is not an absolutely accomplished work of art. The idea, as in any Yogasana (pose), is to strive for perfection. And here, the results mater more. You will find that the benefits lie more in the process of pulling it off, rather than having arrived.

Next, try and tone up your back with Shalabhasana (The Full Locust Pose).

Submitted by A on February 16, 2009 at 12:29

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