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This exercise should be carried out sitting in an erect posture in front of a mirror.

It should be done at least twice daily in this position until the art of contracting the muscle beneath the chin has been completely mastered.

1. Clasp both hands behind the nape of the neck to provide a `headrest’.

2. With the mouth closed and the teeth lightly touching, contract the muscle beneath the chin; attempting to pull the chin
back into the neck without opening the mouth.

By observing the chin and neck in the mirror, it is possible to see the actual contractions of these suprahyoid muscles.

3. It is essential not to move the jaw or teeth when doing the exercise. Once the art of muscle contraction is learned it should be done for 3 – 5 minutes each hour, not necessarily sitting or in front of a mirror.

4. With practice, a definite sensation of tension will be noted in the suprahyoid muscles and in the region of the jaw joints.

5. Once the essential exercise has been learned, it can be done with small mouth opening movements, learning to open the jaw with a backward pull and avoiding the `click’. Day by day, the extent of the mouth opening is increased, always with the jaw positively retruded.

6. Gradually increase the extent of mouth opening until it can be opened to the full normal extent without producing a `click’. Always keep the suprahyoid muscles retracted.

REMEMBER: Muscles can be coaxed but not driven.

If you keep practising this exercise for at least 2 – 3 weeks, it will become second nature and the click will not return.

Useful Articles & Websites

American Dental Association Patient Smart Patient Education Center. TMD -Temporomandibular Disorders

Ashford & St Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

Brighton & Sussex University NHS Trust. Jaw joint problems

British Association of Oral Surgeons. Temporomandibular (Jaw) Joint Problems

Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Facial Massage

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. FAQ – Jaw Joint Problems

Complementary Healthcare Clinic. Jaw Stabilisation Exercises

DurhamDDS. TMJ & Associated Musculature Physical Therapy

East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Jaw joint problems

East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust. Managing Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Problems

East Chesire NHS Trust. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction

East Sussex Healthcare NHS trust. Exercises to prevent pain and clicking of the jaw joint

Heatherwood & Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Jaw Joint Exercises

KaiserPermanente. Physical Therapy Department Exercise Program for Pain & Dysfunction in the Head, Neck & Temporomandibular Joint

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Temporomandibular Joint Pain Dysfunction Syndrome (TMJPDS)

Mid Cheshire & Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trusts. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain Dysfunction

Orthopaedic Manipulative Physiotherapy Group. Temporomandibular Disorders. Patient Info Sheet

Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. Specialist Surgery. TMJ Exercises. Information for patients Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Queen Margaret Hospital, Fife. Exercises to Improve the Function of the Temporomandibular Joint

Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Jaw joint problems

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. Physiotherapy Management of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. Physiotherapy Management of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain

Russells Hall Hospital. The Troublesome Jaw Joint

Temporo-Mandibular Joint Complex Exercise Suggestions

The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction & Myofacial Pain

The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Temporomandibular Disorder – TMD

The Patient Education Institute. Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

The Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust. Temporomandibular Joint Exercises

University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust. A Relaxation Regime for Jaw & Facial Pain

University Hospitals of Leicester Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Services. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction Syndrome

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. Exercises to Improve the Function of the Jaw Joints & Reduce Pain

University of Bristol. Temporo-Mandibular Joint Exercises

Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust. St Richard’s Hospital. Jaw Joint Disorders

J Dent Res. 2007. Randomized Effectiveness Study of 4 Therapeutic Strategies for TMJ Closed Lock

Dent Press J Orthod 2013. Therapeutic exercises for the control of temporomandibular disorders

J Man Manip Ther 2014. Temporomandibular Disorders. Part 2. Conservative Management

Phys Ther 2016. Effectiveness of Manual Therapy & Therapeutic Exercise for Temporomandibular Disorders – Systematic Review & Meta-Analysis