Sleeping is undoubtedly the single most important activity for our bodies. Not only does sleep help maintain a healthy brain function, it also keeps us in good health. But for patients who suffer from a TMJ disorder — sleep may not come so easily. Ideally you’ll want to find the perfect sleeping position that’s comfortable enough to fall asleep in and prevents you from waking with TMJ pain.
Here are some common things to keep in mind.
– Think about how your head and neck are supported. This may mean investing in a new pillow that offers the support you need to wake feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day.
– Don’t choose a position where your head or neck muscles are strained in any way. If you feel even a little strain, it’s best to choose a new position.
– Determine whether you’ll be likely to clench your jaw or grind your teeth while you’re sleeping in that position.
Best and Worst Sleep Positions for TMJ Patients:
On Your Stomach
Sleeping on your stomach is arguably the worst sleeping position for patients who have been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder. Not only is your spine alignment out of whack, but it also makes it very easy to place pressure on your jaw, leading to grinding of the teeth or clenching of your jaw.
On Your Side
Laying on your side with a hand under your head or pillow can also be damaging to your overall jaw health and can aggravate your TMJ pain. Your head and neck are out of alignment, making it extremely likely that your TMJ symptoms and pain will flare up in the morning.
On Your Back
If you have TMJ, sleeping on your back is the best sleep position to keep your head and neck in alignment and cut down on the likelihood of jaw clenching or teeth grinding while asleep. If sleeping on your back does not come naturally, try to train your body to fall asleep (and stay asleep) in this position so that you wake feeling good, rested and pain-free.
If you have questions about how to maintain and reduce your TMJ pain, or how to combat any TMJ-related sleep disorders, working with an experienced medical professional can help you start down the road to relief. Pasadena Pain Management can help. With more than 40 years of treating patients with TMJ and craniofacial pain we can provide you with treatments to reduce your pain and enhance your quality of life.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers sleep apnea and pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.