TMJ disorder, sometimes referred to as TMD, affects about 12% of the US population, women more than men. The jaw pain can sometimes be severe but is not always an indication of a serious problem.
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, connects your jawbone to your skull. Various factors can lead to pain in the jaw and the muscles that move your jaw. The causes of TMD include arthritis, genetics, or an injury.
No matter the cause, TMJ disorder is no fun. If you are planning a trip or travel for work and are wondering, “How do I travel when my jaw hurts?”, keep reading to find out the answer.
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My Jaw Hurts: Guide to Traveling With Jaw Pain
Are you suffering from a sore jaw? Is your jaw popping? Does your pain make the thought of traveling something you can’t fathom? Stick around to learn some tips for traveling pain-free.
1. Bring a Travel Pillow
Whether you’re traveling by car or by plane, a travel pillow is a must. A quality neck pillow will combat the pain associated with TMD as well as any neck and back pain.
2. Use Earplugs
Ear pain can exacerbate TMJ pain. Look for earplugs that help stabilize air pressure at high altitudes.
3. Don’t Sit For Long Stretches
Sitting in the car or in a small airplane seat can strain your body including your jaw muscles. Get up and walk around from time to time if traveling by plane. Make frequent stops while on a road trip to loosen up the muscles.
4. Don’t Stress
Stress often causes teeth clenching and grinding which increases jaw pain. Plan all of your travel activities ahead of time so that the trip does not become stressful.
Have backup plans and be prepared for delays and unexpected problems. Pack ahead of time, get the extra travel items you need in advance and confirm your itinerary before you go.
If your trip feels like it’s too much and it’s causing your TMJ pain to flare up, take a nap or find a place where you can relax. Carve out time to rest in between activities. Sit on the beach or sneak back to your hotel room for a quiet nap.
6. Stay Warm
If you are traveling to a cold climate, bring or ask for a blanket on the plane. Pack a scarf to wear and warm sweaters and jackets. The cold weather will increase TMJ pain so keeping warm is important.
Will a TMJ mouth guard relieve your pain? Read about it here and consult a professional.
Are You Feeling Some Relief?
Now that you know what to do when experiencing jaw pain associated with TMJ disorder, you won’t constantly be thinking, “My jaw hurts.” You can travel without the worry of dealing with a sore jaw.
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