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Patient Resource Library

“If there is the slightest chance that a patient can be educated in the methods that enable him to reduce his own pain and disability using his own understanding and resources, he should receive that education. Every patient is entitled to the information, and every doctor should be obliged to provide it”.

Robin McKenzie, CNZM, O.B.E., FCSP (Hon), FNZSP (Hon), NZCP (HLM), Dip. MT, Dip.MDT

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TMJ Advice

  • Eat a soft diet and avoid caffeine.
  • For the resting position of your jaw: keep your tongue up, gently resting on the palate, teeth apart,
    lips together.
  • Chew on both sides at the same time or alternate sides.
  • Avoid bad habits such as clenching and grinding teeth, tensing, and gum chewing.
  • Avoid excessive or prolonged opening of your mouth.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Pain and inflammation may be relieved by natural or synthetic anti-inflammatory medication. A.I. Formula is the recommended natural anti-inflammatory herbal medication and should be taken on an empty stomach (20 min. before or 2 hours after food) as follows:
    1. Acute: 2-3 capsules, 3-4 times per day for 2-4 weeks
    2. Chronic: 1-2 capsules, 2-3 times per day for 4-8 weeks
  • Use ice massage by rubbing large ice cubes directly over tender muscles and joints, for 3-6 minutes.
  • The following deep breathing exercise will decrease emotional stress, promote muscle relaxation, ease pain, and facilitate better sleep and energy levels:
    1. Assume rest position of jaw (see description above.)
    2. Rapidly exhale all the air from your lungs, through your mouth, with your lips in a pursed position, so that you make a “whoosh” sound.
    3. Inhale through your nose, into your abdomen* (not your upper chest), for a count of 4.
    4. Hold for a count of 7.
    5. Exhale slowly, through your mouth, again making a “whoosh” sound, for a count of 8.
    6. Repeat steps 3-5 for a total of 4 cycles.
    7. Perform this exercise at least 3 times each day. Performing this exercise while lying down is
      nice, but not necessary. You can do it while driving, waiting in a line, anytime you’re feeling anxious or stressed out, and before you go to bed.

*To train abdominal breathing, place one hand on your abdomen, and the other on your upper chest, and focus on directing the inhalation of air into your abdomen. It may be helpful at First to actually push your abdomen out as you inhale. Be patient.As with any new skill, abdominal breathing takes some practice. Keep in mind that the goal is relaxation, so don’t try too hard.

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