Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Best Sleeping Positions, Pillows for TMJ Patients

I (Rob) have TMJ - that's tempomandibular jaw syndrome, where your jaw pops or slips out of it's socket causing jaw and headache pain. I can't keep my mouth open long at the dentist - however, if you tip your head back in the chair it reduces the pain.   Recently the TMJ pain has become constant and miserable, so I checked sleeping positions and pillows. Here's what I found out: 

The Best Sleeping Positions for TMJ Patients

The Best Sleeping Position for TMJ Patients

Sleeping on your back is going to be the best position if you suffer from TMJ, another TMD or orofacial pain. Lying on your back has a number of benefits:
  • It won’t put pressure on the jaw.
  • It will offer proper support to the head, neck and shoulders.
  • It provides the best alignment of the body keeping the spine, neck and head in a neutral position.
  • You will be less likely to clench your jaw or grind your teeth.
Lying on your stomach is typically the worst position for sleeping, followed closely by sleeping on one side with an arm under your head. In these positions your posture is all out of alignment, which worsens TMJ.

Pillow Recommendations: Use what you have

Pillow talk matters. What does your pillow say to you at night? Does it whisper sweetly in your ear or more like nails on a chalk board?  Make sure you’re using the pillow properly at night, because if you suffer from TMJ or CMD, you need a pillow that sings!    
Expensive doesn’t always make a difference!
You don’t need a fancy new pillow to obtain relief from TMJ and CMD symptoms Many people mistakenly believe if they purchase the very best pillow money can buy, they will get maximum benefits. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between expense and value. Pillows tend to cost more depending on what is used inside for filling. Synthetic cotton fiber pillows are usually less expensive compared to downy or feather pillows.  For therapeutic purposes, it makes no difference what kind of stuffing is in your pillow. However, a pillow with loose stuffing is much easier to manipulate and reshape.
Use what you already own
What’s already on your bed will work just fine. First, take the pillow and shake the contents to one end. Now take the other side of the pillow and roll it inward.  You will discover that you have created a bulge on one end of the pillow. Get some safety pins and place them across in a straight row. This will ensure the filling stays in place inside the pillow.  At night, sleep on the bulky portion of the pillow. This will provide support for your neck and jaw muscles.
It’s too bulky
If you don’t feel the pillow was comfortable after your first night of sleep, make adjustments as necessary.  Undo the row of safety pins and decrease the amount of pillow stuffing at one end.  It may take several nights of experimenting before you create a satisfactory pillow.

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next