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Tips for Traveling with TMJ

January 3, 2017

Getting out to see the world sounds like a lot of fun. But, for those who have been diagnosed with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, traveling can have a whole new layer of complexity added to it. Not only do you have to ensure your travel plans are up-to-date, but you also have to make sure your TMJ pain doesn’t keep you on the sidelines for most of your trip.

If you’re planning a trip in the near future, have no fear—you can travel without aggravating your TMJ pain. Take a look at these tips for a successful travel experience, whether you’re traveling by car, airplane or any other mode of transportation.

Tips for traveling with TMJ

Traveling by Car:
Make regular stops.
Sitting in the car for long periods of time can be difficult on your body. By making regular stops, you can ensure that your muscles don’t start to get tense and your joints don’t get stiff. Getting out of the car allows you to stretch your legs and stand, helping to make the small space in the car more tolerable.

•  Bring a pillow.
Pillows are great for long road trips. Not only do they offer your head and neck support while taking a nap in the car, but they can also help to reduce back pain. If you’re starting to notice any back or neck pain during the drive, use the pillow to support the irritated area before it leads to unnecessary TMJ pain.

•  Have your medication ready.
If the trip proves to be more uncomfortable than expected, it would be in your best interest to make sure your medication is readily available. This is more of a precaution than anything else, but being prepared is never a bad thing!

Traveling by Airplane:
Consider purchasing earplugs.
There are some earplugs on the market that help to stabilized air pressure, cutting down on ear pain and TMJ pain while at high altitudes. If ear pain often aggravates your TMJ pain, it could be a good idea to invest in the appropriate earplugs for the trip.

•  Move around as the cabin.
More often than not, airplane seats are small and uncomfortable. If you find that your compact seat isn’t providing you the comfort and support you need, get up and move around the cabin as you can. It’s a great way to keep your muscles from tensing and your TMJ pain from flaring up.

•  Don’t forget your pillow.
Much like in the car, pillows for airplane travel can help to relieve your TMJ pain or combat it before it even starts. Neck pillows are great for planes because they can make an uncomfortable seat a little more comfortable for sleeping and relaxing while in the air and can also be used to support your back if necessary.

General Travel Tips:
Try not to stress.
Stress, anxiety and TMJ are all linked. Plan your trip in advance if at all possible and try to keep the stress of travel to a minimum. Relax and enjoy your adventure.

•  Don’t plan too much.
You know your body the best. If you feel that traveling or activities once you’re at your destination are too much, don’t feel like taking a nap is a bad thing. Sometimes a little rest is all you need to get back into the swing of things.

Before you travel, it’s important that you consult your medical professional about their suggestions for helping you travel and manage your TMJ pain and symptoms while away from home. If you’re looking for a medical professional in the Dayton, Ohio area that can help you manage your TMJ pain, Dr. Mitakides is now accepting new patients. With more than 40 years of experience in diagnosing and treating TMJ, Dr. Mitakides and his team of professionals are here to help you. Are you ready to get your TMJ pain under control? Give us a call at 937-427-3131 or schedule an appointment online today.