Thursday, January 20, 2011

Natural and Home Remedies for TMJ

My TMJ is relieved though not cured.

Well a couple of weeks have gone by and my TMJ is decidedly better. Thank goodness.

I can tell you that I have had two appointments with a Physiotherapist who is trained in IMS (Intramuscular Stimulation)and it worked wonders. (More on IMS later on other Post).

I also have been quite diligent in doing my exercises and stretches. Now do not forget that I have been living with TMJ for over 35 years and while I have had headaches and neck, jaw and head pain at various times I never had episodes quite so debilitating as the recent one. It was this bad event (that I don't even want to recall) that made me realize I should have been getting my sore jaw straightened out (so to speak) long ago.

So my research on TMJ has turned up way more than I bargained for and while I am not a fan of all the treatments listed some are very affective. I believe every man should make up is own mind on what works for them and what does not. So let's get started.

Natural and Home Remedies for TMJ
Keep your Mouth Shut and Relax, Madame!

In seeking relief from pain a lot of you sufferers out there have probably done most things of the natural and home remedies for TMJ including some of from the remedy list below.

1. Ice is Nice. Ice is very effective in numbing the pain. Keep some of those handy gel packs on hand in the freezer. In my house ice packs are one of the natural home remedies for TMJ that I view as a mainstay.

2. Some like it Hot. Take those same gel packs and heat them up. Personally I like to use the grain filled heat bags like Magic Bag....another mainstay in my house.

3. Avoid hard and chewy foods like water taffy, chewing gum and steak. Try not to stress your jaw anymore than it already is. Avoid food eating contests too unless you can eat small bites really, really, really fast.

4. Look down at your hands. Yes I am talking to you. Do you have nice fingernails? No, well then ....STOP BITING YOUR NAILS and give your joint (can I call it that?) a chance to recover. Your jaw will thank you and so will your fingernails. That is what we call and win win situation folks.

5. If this list is a big YAWN for you. Don't. Yawn I mean. But if you have to.... put your hand under your chin and stop yourself from doing an impersonation of Jaws.

6. Have good posture when standing or sitting and learn to relax your facial muscles throughout the day. I sit at a desk for many hours each day and tend to stick my neck out literally and my jaw is usually tensed up.. It is hard to change old habits but the alternative is worth the effort. Learn some relaxation techniques such as
Meditation, Deep Breathing, Yoga, or Tai Chi. These relaxing home remedies for TMJ are well worth the effort to ease pain and muscle tension.

7. Throughout the day drink plenty of water and at nighttime curl up with the old bag.... er, heat bag or gel pack and /or an ice pack and get a decent amount of sleep. Your body is telling you it is not happy so do it a favor and give it the rest it needs. Natural remedies for TMJ such as sleep and drinking water are ...well natural.
Did you know some gel packs can withstand 700 psi so dont worry about lying on one all night.
8. Supplements. To be truthful I had never heard of using supplements for chronic TMJ. I take supplements everyday but not for my wonky jaw.  Using supplements as natural and home remedies for TMJ have proven successful.
Of the four recommended supplements I already take three and they are;
Glucosamine Sulphate, this is great for helping rebuild cartilage and you mandibular joint has cartilage that is bearing the brunt of bruxism so it can use some support. This supplement gives me strong sturdy fingernails that I can actually grow to a nice length. I have always had thin soft nails that break easily but not anymore.

MSM otherwise known as methylsulfonylmethane helps reduce inflammation of the area around the joint and help with muscle spasms. Yikes I hate those spasms
Magnesium which is a natural muscle relaxant.

The last one is Kava (Piper methysticum) which calms nerves and aids in relaxation. I could write a whole blog on this stuff but surprise someone beat me to it and its a gem.

9. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, (NSAID's) such as Ibuprofen, Excedrin, Advil and Motrin to name a few readily available pain relievers. If you are experiencing pain that just wont quit then sometimes you  may need over the counter medications in combination with other natural and home remedies for TMJ to help you get relief from TMJ pain.

10. Muscle relaxants. Some muscle relaxants like Robaxacet or Robaxin - methocarbamol are available over the counter in Canada and may be obtained online without a Doctor's prescription in America.

Diet and Foods that can help relief TMJ
Hmmmm, Salisbury Steak and Mashed Potatoes.

If your TMJ is particularily bad you may wish to consider eating a soft food diet.

Eat foods rich in Omega 3 Fatty acids which are a type of polyunsaturated fat that is essential for our bodies to function. Studies have shown that Omega 3 fatty acids act as an anti-inflammatory and researchers say it is better to get your Omega 3 fatty acids from food intake rather than supplement form.

There are two major types of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets: One type is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is found in some vegetable oils, such as soybean, rapeseed (canola), and flaxseed, and in walnuts. ALA is also found in some green vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and salad greens. The other type, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), is found in fatty fish. The body partially converts ALA to EPA and DHA. Salmon contains more omega-3 than any other type of fish or seafood, so it's a smart choice for a healthy diet. Other fish options are Albacore Tuna, Swordfish, Sardines, Mackerel, Atlantic Herring and Lake Trout.

Soft Food Recipe



600 grams prepared creamy seafood chowder or soup
1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
500 grams fresh fish, cut into 2cm squares
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
2 tblsp fresh parsley
1/4 cup diced gherkins
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped


400 grams sweet potato, peeled and chopped
400 grams pumpkin, peeled and chopped
2 tblsp butter
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


1. Warm the seafood chowder and crème fraiche together gently in a saucepan. Fold in the fish, spring onions, parsley gherkins, and cook gently for 2 minutes. Lastly fold in the chopped eggs and then transfer the mixture to a 5-6 cup capacity oven-proof dish.
2. Cook the sweet potatoes and pumpkin together in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and mash until smooth with the butter. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Spread the mashed potatoes on top of the fish pie.Hmmmm, nice soft food.
3. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until piping hot.  Enjoy your soft food meal.



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