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 PatientsSleeping 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.
Pillow Recommendations: Use what you have
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.