Do you have pain in your jaw while or after wearing a mask?
Some of us have developed habits while wearing a mask that could lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction and pain. Some of these habits include keeping our mouth open for prolonged periods of time to breathe and adjusting our mask constantly by pushing our jaw forward or opening our mouth wide. Although it may be difficult to stop these habits now that they have been formed, there are techniques you can use to alleviate the resulting pain and muscle tension.
Technique 1: External Massage
Gently massage the temple and cheek area to release tension in the temporalis and masseter muscles.
Technique 2: Isometric Strengthening
Place your hand on either side of your jaw and gently push your bottom teeth into your hand. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times. Do this on both sides.
Technique 3: Chin Tuck
Push your chin backwards, as if a string was attached to the back of your head, pulling. Hold for ten seconds and repeat ten times.
Try out these exercises three times a day. If the pain persists, a physiotherapist with an expertise in TMJ disorders will be able to do a complete evaluation, treat the pain and give advice and more exercises.