Jaw pain is no fun
You have just finished a long day at work and on your ride home you begin to notice that even though you are attempting to relax you are instead clenching your teeth, tensing your neck and hunching your shoulders to your ears. In fact, you suddenly realize that you have been holding tension in your entire jaw for several days and not only is your face and head feeling a dull pain but your shoulders and neck are also sore and tight. Jaw tension is common and it has all sorts of underlying causes but typically it is, at least in part, related to stress and anxiety. The other issue is usually a set of bad postural habits you have been unknowingly implementing into your daily routine due to long hours of sitting and/or dealing with stressful situations. It can sometimes feel like a lot of work and a long road to recovery once jaw pain begins but if you are willing to work through the underlying issues you can find relief!
Here are some tips, tricks and education on how you can find freedom from that nagging and uncomfortable jaw tension:
Address the root cause
This might be the hard part! Who or what could be the culprit behind the ongoing tension in your jaw? Try to pay attention throughout your day to see where you are tensing up. Is it driving, sitting at the computer for too long, a certain deadline, a certain co-worker or family member? Stress and anxiety can have serious side effects on your health and it is important to assess your daily life for where these issues might be coming from. In the end it is up to each of us to confront stressful situations or people in our lives in order to create change. Or to change our perspective so that what we do doesn’t cause us so much anxiety. This is, however, always easier said than done. Some things that have worked for me are having a mantra such as: I let go of the things that are not serving me and using visualization techniques where I imagine the stress cause as a colorful line of energy that is connected to me and I visualize cutting that line of energy with a sword away from myself. If you are really struggling with changing a certain pattern then it is wise to seek help from a counselor who can give you more skills and support with breaking these harmful routines.
Give yourself a hand
Exercise-finding a balance of strength and flexibility in your muscles is always important but it is especially so when you are dealing with the delicate layers of muscles in the shoulders, neck and jaw. Check out this great article for some great exercise ideas for your jaw but don’t forget that everything is connected in your body and it is important to try to attain a fully balanced body for true health.
Self Massage-The jaw is a relatively easy place for most people to perform self massage techniques. Check out this lovely video for a great way to help loosen up your jaw through self massage. Remember consistency is key with self massage, you should try to work it into your daily routine.
Get some help
Massage, acupuncture and chiropractic care are just a few types of therapies that can help you find freedom from chronic jaw pain and help you feel better in general. You will want to discuss an appropriate treatment plan with your therapist(s) to make sure you get on the path to success as quickly as possible. Here is a little article on how massage can influence the release of a tense jaw.
Thanks so much for reading. I truly hope you are able to find relief from jaw tension, I know first hand that it is a difficult journey. Here at Written on the Body our skilled therapists are happy to help you with these issues, if you have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave them in the comments. Ready to book? Book online here now!