Are You Struggling With Jaw Tension or Neck Pain? 

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If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience tension in these areas, which can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to relieve the tension and pain. This post will discuss some of the best ways to achieve relief. Keep reading for more information.

sitting up straight neck pain

4 Simple Tips to Avoid Jaw Tension and Neck Pain

  • Avoid clenching your teeth or grinding them together.
  • Massage your jaw and the muscles in your neck to help loosen them up. 
  • Sleep on your back, taking the pressure off your neck and jaws. 
  • If you work at a desk, try to adjust your posture so that your head is aligned with your spine. 

neck and jaw pain

By following these simple tips, you can help reduce the tension in your jaw and neck and find relief from the pain.

Jaw tension and neck pain can be debilitating and make it challenging to do your everyday activities. It can be hard to determine the source when you’re experiencing this type of pain.

As an ergonomic consultant with over 30 years of experience, I have helped numerous muscle and nerve, pain patients. There are two types of pain. I know it can be hard to tell them apart, but I will give you some solutions in this article.

What Causes Jaw Tension or Neck Pain?

tension neck and jaw

As a general rule, jaw tension or neck pain typically refers to a group of conditions that cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement called TMD, or temporomandibular disorders. It is caused by injury to the jaw, head, neck; arthritis; or displacement of the jaw joint disks.

How Can I Relieve Tension in My Neck and Jaw?

One of the most common things people experience is tension in the neck and jaw. This can be caused by many different things, such as stress, poor posture, or even teeth grinding. The good news is that there are many different ways to relieve this tension. One easy way to start is by massaging your neck and jaw muscles. 

You can also try using a warm compress to help relax the muscles. Another option is to do gentle stretching exercises, such as tilting your head from side to side or moving your jaw up and down. If you find that the tension is still not going away, you may want to consult with a doctor or chiropractor to see if there is a more severe issue.

What Causes Tightness in Neck and Jaw?

One of our doctors’ most common complaints is “I have a tightness in my neck and jaw.” A variety of things can cause this, but often it is due to muscle tension or misalignment. 

When your neck and jaw muscles are tight, it can cause pain and limit your range of motion. This can be caused by stress, poor posture, or spending too much time hunched over a computer or phone. Additionally, this type of tension can lead to headaches and migraines.

How Do You Relax Your Tense Jaw?

If you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, it’s essential to relax your jaw muscles to prevent any long-term damage. There are a few different ways that you can do this. 

TMJ pain

One is to place your tongue behind your top teeth and push gently outward. You should feel your jaw muscles start to relax. Another way is to massage the muscles in your jaw using your fingers. Start by placing your index fingers on either side of your mouth just below the cheekbones. Then, using gentle circular motions, massage the muscles downward towards the chin. 

You can also try opening and closing your mouth slowly a few times to help loosen up the muscles. If you’re still tense, try holding a warm cloth against your cheek for a few minutes.

If you find that your teeth are starting to wear down from clenching or grinding, it’s important to see a dentist right away. They can help fit you for a mouth guard or splint, protecting your teeth and preventing further damage. 

Does Your Jaw Hurt With COVID?

The first sign of COVID-19 is a sudden, severe headache for many people. But some also report unusual jaw pain as one of their symptoms. This pain is often described as a dull ache that worsens when chewing or talking. It can be intense enough to wake people up at night. 

The good news is that this symptom is usually not a sign of a more severe condition. However, if you are experiencing unexplained jaw pain, it is essential to see your doctor to rule out other potential causes. In the meantime, over-the-counter pain relievers can help to ease the discomfort.

How Do You Relax Tight Muscles TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small, complex joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. The TMJ allows the lower jaw to move freely, making it possible to talk, chew, and yawn. 

TMJ skeletal model

Unfortunately, this joint is also susceptible to several problems that can cause pain and dysfunction. One common issue is tight muscles around the TMJ. This can be caused by teeth grinding, clenching, or other habits that put undue stress on the joint. It can also be a side effect of arthritis or other disorders that affect the joints. 

Treatment for tight TMJ muscles often begins with simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding hard foods, using a mouth guard at night and practicing relaxation techniques. If these measures don’t help, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or injections to relax the muscles. Surgery is rarely needed.

If you have tightness in your TMJ muscles, it’s crucial to identify and avoid any habits that may be causing or exacerbating the problem. Common culprits include teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching, which can put a lot of stress on the joint and lead to pain and dysfunction. 

Other habits contributing to TMJ problems include gum chewing, nail-biting, and eating hard foods. If any of these are a regular part of your routine, try to cut back or stop altogether. In some cases, simply changing your diet can make a big difference. Avoiding chewy or hard foods, for instance, can take some of the strain off of your TMJ.

How Can I Relax My Jaw From Anxiety?

Anxiety can cause many physical symptoms, one of which is a tight jaw. It can be highly uncomfortable if you’re struggling with anxiety and your jaw is always clenched. There are a few things you can do to relax your jaw from anxiety. 

First, try to be aware of when you’re clenching your jaw and make an effort to stop. Second, massage your jaw muscles periodically throughout the day. Third, do some relaxation exercises or take deep breaths when your jaw tightens up. 

anxiety with TMJ

If you’re still having trouble relaxing your jaw, consult with a doctor or therapist who can help you manage your anxiety. With a bit of effort, you should be able to relax your jaw from anxiety and alleviate some of your symptoms. 

Can Tight Neck Muscles Cause Jaw Clenching?

For many of us, stress manifests in physical tension, especially in the neck and jaw. This can lead to teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw clenching, which can cause a host of problems, including headaches, TMJ, and even tooth damage. 

But what many people don’t realize is that tight neck muscles can be the cause of this clenching and grinding. When the muscles in the neck are tight, they pull on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), resulting in teeth grinding or clenching. This is why massaging the neck muscles can be an effective way to relieve stress and tension and may even help to prevent bruxism and jaw clenching. 

So if you find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth, it may be worth trying a neck massage to see if it can help relieve the tension and stress that may be causing these habits.

How to Treat TMJ at Home

Here is a video that I made with TMJ expert, Dr David Arteaga MD:

 What Causes TMJ to Flare Up?

There are many potential causes of TMJ flare-ups. Some of the most common include stress, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. While these habits may seem innocuous, they can put a lot of strain on the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). This can lead to pain, inflammation, and other symptoms. 

Additionally, many underlying medical conditions can contribute to TMJ flare-ups. These include arthritis, fibromyalgia, and Lyme disease. Treatment for TMJ flare-ups typically focuses on relieving pain and inflammation. 

However, addressing the underlying cause is also essential for preventing future episodes. In some cases, this may involve making lifestyle changes or taking medication. Surgery is generally only considered a last resort. 

Summary

If you’re struggling with jaw tension or neck pain, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people experience this type of discomfort. However, there are several things you can do to relieve the tension and pain. This post will discuss some of the best ways to achieve relief. So keep reading for more information. Have any of these methods worked for you?

 

Sources:

  1. Peck, C.L. and Kraft, G.H., 1977. Electromyographic biofeedback for pain related to muscle tension: A study of tension headache, back, and jaw pain. Archives of Surgery, 112(7), pp.889-895.
  2. Jensen, R., 1999. Pathophysiological mechanisms of tension-type headache: a review of epidemiological and experimental studies. Cephalalgia, 19(6), pp.602-621.
  3. Smith, R., Are you experiencing jaw pain, neck pain or headaches? What you need to know about temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
  4. Björne, A., 2007. Assessment of temporomandibular and cervical spine disorders in tinnitus patients. Progress in brain research, 166, pp.215-219.
  5. Glaros, A.G., Williams, K. and Lausten, L., 2005. The role of parafunctions, emotions and stress in predicting facial pain. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 136(4), pp.451-458.

 

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Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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