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TMJ: Try This - Sleep On Back With Neck On Rolled Up Pillow

I was told to do this by a doctor a while ago and never actually tried it until now because I was wearing a splint and it was too hard to sleep with to begin with let alone try to get used to an awkward sleeping position. However now that I am not wearing the splint I actually tried it and I think it is something worthwhile:

Take a normal pillow and roll it up, keeping it the same length, so it is basically a cylinder. Use some duct tape or other strong tape and tape it together securely. Put it back in a pillow case.

Now take any other pillows off your bed so you can't end up using them while you are sleeping, lay on your back so your neck is resting on the new pillow you made. This is supposed to keep the head in a position where gravity makes it hard for you to grind your teeth and basically forces you to relax your jaw. I tried it last night and plan to force myself to sleep this way from now on as I am already feeling somewhat better. I doubt it can work for everyone but at least if your TMJ isn't too far along it should help.

I'd like to hear if anyone else has tried this before and what they think of it.
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replied September 6th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Hey
yeah this could work ---just be careful of your neck. if you end up with a sore neck its probably not a good idea to do it. It is recommended that tmd patients sleep on their back and side. i feel better anyway for doing it.
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replied September 6th, 2007
Yes you are right that it can give a stiff neck, I notice it somewhat but I spend a lot of time in water exercising, swimming or surfing which helps to stretch out. The reason this works for me rather than just lying on my back on a flat pillow is that while I am asleep I always end up turning around, rolling over, etc to where I end up lying in the wrong position and putting pressure on my jaw. With the rolled up pillow the only comfortable position is to lay on my back so I have so far been going to sleep and waking up in relatively the same position.
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replied September 6th, 2007
Supporter
Yes, I have done something similar in the past and it did work quite well. I was told to be careful not to make the roll too big. The PT even gave me a small roll that worked great (still have it someplace). I do remember that she said not to stay on it for too long at one time. Start with 5 minutes and build up the time, but she didn't recommend all night.
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replied September 7th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
Hey
ive gotten a chiroflow and in my opinion is the best pillow out there for support. they arent too hideously expensive. yeah they are more than a normal pillow but its worth it. you can even use a memory foam one from walmart(i didnt like them but that is just me.) id rather spend the money than make my own makeshift one.
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replied September 8th, 2007
Experienced User
True Sleep On Your Back
Chiropracters will tell you if you have a bad neck and jaw sleep on your back. it is important. To keep the very upper neck aligned with the jaw. also put a pillow under your knees so not too much stress is put on the lower lumbar back. Try sleep suggestion. right before you go to sleep... tell yourself to wake up if you clench or grind. i would recommend a cervical pillow, but ask around, because i have 4 and i dont like them, so i wasted alot of money experimenting on them. cindy
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replied September 9th, 2007
I have some sort of cervical pillow too that is made of memory foam. I've went back to using that now.. I think that the rolled up pillow is to be used as kind of a training method to get you to sleep on your back so if you notice that you are rolling over during the night its good to use it for a night or two and then go back to a cervical pillow, also if the pains bad you can lay on it while you are awake for a while but it does seem to cause neck pain after using it a lot
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replied December 3rd, 2010
TMJ - Relieving Symptoms
I've have had TMJ for 4 years now. I wear a orthotic during the day and a NIV at night. I use an orthopedic pillow. The NIV is excellent to prevent and relaxing your jaw. Your regular dentist can make the NIV, but a myofacial specialist can make the orthotic. I feel great. When it's cold outside the weather affects my jaw and I use a wet towel and warm it in the microwave for 19 seconds place it on both sides of my face.
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replied June 1st, 2011
tmj
My name is Deena and I have suffered from tmj for years.
I came across this web site spacesleeperpillow.com when I looked at the pillow it made me laugh,I have tried everything with not very good results.so I decided to try this,and I can't believe it I'am pain free.This pillow really keeps my neck striaght,and this pillow keeps me off my face which also helps with wrinkles.You just can't go wrong with that!
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