Welcome

to your Jaw Pain Self-Care Guide!

Welcome

to your Jaw Pain Self-Care Guide!

Each day is designed to be done on its own – if you’d like to pair two days together, do a therapy ball massage move and a strength/posture move. Each will take you less than 10 minutes or less – fit it in whenever. You can to start feeling better now.

Be sure to download your PDF calendar as a quick reference guide for the next 15 days!

Day 1 - Therapy Ball Facial

Today we’ll look at tension of the fascias of the face. Use a clean therapy ball to massage beneath the cheek bone, directly over the jaw joint (TMJ) and across the brow bone. This sequence is also great to aid with sinus congestion. See video for detailed description.

Day 2 - Unknot Your Neck

Use a large therapy ball (preferably an ALPHA) to massage the top of your shoulder/neck. This targets the tension of the trapezius, scalenes and levator scapula, which can be triggers for jaw tension and pain. Set yourself up in a doorway or with blocks, 2-5 minutes per side. See video for detailed description.

Day 3 - Deep Neck Flexor 1

The Deep Neck Flexors (longus capitis and longus colli) help to flex and rotate your neck and provide stability. They commonly are overstretched and weak, which causes upper back muscles to pick up the slack and/or creates uneven tension on the jaw.

Learning to activate these muscles is the first step to improving posture. Try 10-15 times per position, but pay close attention to how you feel the next day. If overly tired (which may feel like soreness behind the throat), do less repetitions next time.

If your head cannot comfortably rest on the ground, prop your head up with a pillow. You may also need to prop the head when at the wall if getting your head to the wall makes your ribs shift forward. See video for detailed description.

Day 4 - Meditation

Set a timer for 5 minutes and settle into a comfortable position lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Prop your head up on something soft, if needed. Count the number of inhales and exhales for the duration of the meditation, allowing each breath to be as long and slow as is comfortably possible.

Focus on allowing the top and bottom jaw to comfortably rest away from one another, rather than clenching them tightly shut. Relax your tongue away from the roof of the mouth. If you notice jaw clenching or your tongue pressing to the roof of the mouth, simply relax them. 

Day-3-Contructive-Rest_web800

Day 5 - Deep Neck Flexor 2

This builds on Deep Neck Flexor 1 from Day 3. If you found that exercise difficult, keep building strength and awareness before starting this one.

Use a Coregeous ball or other soft object under your chin while standing at a wall. Stand in your best posture, feet directly beneath you, with ribs and hips stacked on top of one another. Draw your chin into your chest, pressing into the ball with your bottom jaw. Hold, and then open your mouth, pressing your bottom jaw into the ball with greater pressure. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

Rotate your head to the right and left, repeating as above, for 10-15 seconds each position. See video for detailed description.

Day 6 - Unclench Your Jaw

This builds on the Therapy Ball Facial from Day 1. If your jaw was very sensitive with that massage, keep working on Day 1 and save this for when your tissues have softened and can withstand the pressure.

From side lying, place a toted pair of therapy balls on your jaw and temple. Nod your head yes and no. You can also open and close your mouth. This will help to reduce tension in the masseter and temporalis, the main muscles involved with chewing, talking and eating. Spend 2-5 minutes per side. See video for detailed description.

Day 7 - Swimming Series 1

Laying facedown, prop your chest up on a Coregeous ball or blanket. With your head lifted off the ground, draw large circles with your hands along the ground for 1 minute. Reverse directions of the circle and repeat. Then, try to hover your hands up off the ground as you circle them, which will help to build the strength and endurance of the upper back.

Swimming focuses on shoulder mobility and strength of the stabilizers of the neck. Because of slouching, these muscles are commonly overstretched and stiff.

Break it up into shorter time intervals (ie. 6 x 10 seconds) if needed. See video for detailed description.

Day 8 - Facial Motion is Lotion

When was the last time you moved the fascias of your face in super expressive movements? Follow along with me in this video as we make the most expressive and odd faces possible. Motion is lotion for your tissues, and this can help to improve the fluidity of your face, jaw and neck. Just make sure no one else is watching 😉

Spend about 2-5 mins in total. See video for detailed description.

Day 9 - Coregeous Collar

The Coregeous ball’s grippy texture is perfect for grabbing at the multiple layers of fascia and muscle on the front of the neck. This area can become congested due to lack of movement and poor posture.

The Coregeous Collar helps to rehydrate the layers of tissue in the anterior neck and jaw as well as decrease any congestion or build of extracellular “gunk”. You can also do this with your hands if you do not have a Coregeous ball handy. See video for detailed description.

Day 10 - Swimming Series 2

This builds on Swimming 1 from Day 7. If you found that exercise difficult, keep building strength and awareness with Swimming 1 before starting this one.

Laying facedown, prop your chest up on a Coregeous ball or blanket. Place blocks on the ground in front of you as hurdles. With your head lifted off the ground, hover your hands off the ground and draw large circles for 1 minute, avoiding the blocks as you go. Reverse directions of the circle and repeat. Then, try to reach overhead followed by bringing your hands behind you without touching the ground or your lower back. Try each variation/direction for 1 minute.

Break it up into shorter time intervals (ie. 6 x 10 seconds) if needed. See video for detailed description.

Day 11 - SCM Softner

The sternocleidomastoid (SCM for short) is the large, strap-like muscle on either side of your neck. It is most prominent when you turn your head to the side. Because of its shared fascias with the jaw and neck, tension or dysfunction of the SCM can cause extra strain on the TMJ.

Lay on your side with a block or pillow under your head. Use any size YTU ball at the bony knob just behind your ear lobe to massage the upper attachment of the SCM. If this variation is too intense, try it with a Coregeous ball, larger therapy ball, or sitting upright and applying pressure with your hand (similar to Day 1 – Therapy Ball Facial).

Spend 2-5 minutes per side. See video for detailed description.

Day 12 - Meditation

Set a timer for 5 minutes and settle into any comfortable position (your choice!). Breathe slowly in and out of the nose. Pause for a slow count of 4 at the top of each inhale and bottom of each exhale.

Focus on allowing the top and bottom jaw to comfortably rest away from one another, rather than clenching them tightly shut. Relax your tongue away from the roof of the mouth. If you notice jaw clenching or your tongue pressing to the roof of the mouth, simply relax them.

Day 12 Meditation

Day 13 - Zombie Roll Ups

This builds on both days of Deep Neck Flexor exercises. If you found those to be difficult, keep building strength and awareness with them before starting this one.

The Zombie Roll Ups are the ultimate test for your deep front line and anterior core. Without a strong anterior core, the neck musculature has to work overtime to keep the head balanced on top of the neck. Lay on your back. Activate the deep neck flexors first (see Day 3) and then peel head, neck and shoulders up off the ground. Reach for the feet while keeping the shoulders moving down and away from the ears. Hold for as long as is tolerable. Repeat, adding rotation by trying to reach for one foot at a time.

Aim for 3 times in each position/direction. See video for detailed description.

Day 14 - Upper Back Unwind

Unwind the tension of your upper back with these moves! If it is too intense to do on the floor, take your therapy balls to the wall and follow along in standing (leaning into the wall for pressure. Spend about 2-5 mins per location. See video for detailed description.

Day 15 - Facial Motion is Lotion

Revisit the Facial Motion is Lotion exercise today and notice what has changed. It has been 15 days of the Jaw Pain program, and things might be a bit different in terms of ease of pain-free movement.

What do you notice?

Is it easier to move? Harder to move?

Can you open you jaw wider?

The video is below as a reminder of all the faces to make!

Questions about the program?

Knead a Pair of Balls?

A good pair of therapy balls will help you get the most out of this program. Shop the entire selection now!

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