As 2017 begins, traveling is high on the priority list for business and personal reasons alike. However, for people suffering from TMJ Disorder, traveling can be utterly unpleasant. If you have an upcoming trip, regardless of the mode of transportation, know that it is possible to leave your TMJ at home!
General Travel Tips
·         RELAX! Although some stress is inevitable, stress and anxiety lead to physical tension, which can make for an unenjoyable trip, as well invoking TMJ Disorder symptoms, especially jaw and shoulder pain.
·         Try to avoid planning and “go with the flow”! Planning can lead to stress and over-exertion. No one knows your body better than you do, so instead of creating a set plan that you feel the need to follow, try and leave your schedule open to do, or not to do, as you please. If you need a nap, take one. If you feel up to that amusement park, go! Just try to pay attention to your body in order to prevent any unnecessary strain or exhaustion.
Traveling By Plane
·         Keep gum and ear plugs with you in your travels. Both of these items help to prevent ear pain and “clogging”, which can cause discomfort, further aggravating TMJ symptoms.
·         Bring a pillow with you on your flight. Much like on road trips, pillows can help relieve TMJ symptoms or prevent the symptoms from acting up. Neck pillows are ideal for planes because they’re personal, small, and can help support your back and neck when sitting or sleeping!
·         Try to move around the cabin as much as possible. Because of the fact that plane seats in general are uncomfortable and lacking in support, it is a good idea to move around and allow a little relief to your muscles, especially those in your back, shoulders, and neck.
Traveling By Car
·         Even though stopping can be annoying on road trips, it is important to make regular stops even if you aren’t suffering from TMJ Disorder. Sitting in the car for long periods of time, especially when you’re driving, can be demanding on even a TMD-free body. By stopping moderately frequently, it helps to prevent muscles and joints from getting tense and stiff. It also allows you to relax and stretch, relieving some of the stress of road trips and allowing you unwind a little bit.
·         Similar to flying, it is good to bring a pillow on road trips. Instead of, or as well as, a neck pillow, bring a full sized pillow that you can fold and move as needed to achieve maximum comfort! If you start noticing pain or tension in your body, immediately use the pillow to support the area in order to prevent full blown pain.
·         Bring medication with you, in case the trip becomes uncomfortable. It is always a good idea to have over-the-counter medication handy, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol, that won’t affect your driving but that can help relieve some pain.
   If you’re suffering from TMJ symptoms including jaw pain, cracking, popping or locking of the jaw, headaches and migraines, neck, shoulder and pack pain or soreness, or ear pain, contact Dr. Sid Solomon, DDS at 310-475-5598 to schedule a comprehensive consultation today. Dr. Solomon is a leading TMJ and Neuromuscular Dentist of thirty years, and can help you live the pain free and fear free life you deserve. If you need a TMJ expert in Los Angeles, Dr. Sid Solomon welcomes you to visit with him.
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