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Home >> Self Care Encyclopedia >> Jaw Problems and TMJ >> Stretching the Platysma Muscle

Stretching the Platysma Muscle


 

Image of the line of pulling of the platysma and how to stretch it

 

Purpose

  • This exercise stretches and lengthens the platysma and hyoid muscles. You can see them pulling in a broad red sheet in the picture above
  • More relaxed platysma and hyoid muscles releases tension in the jaw


Technique

  • Hold the sheet of tissue down on the side of your neck and top of your chest with a broad soft grip with the pads of your fingers and breadth of your palms.
  • Allow your jaw to relax and remain ajar as you gently drag this tissue down toward your chest as you reach back with your head and neck to the opposite side.
  • Hold for three deep breaths. 
  • Now, gently close your jaw and repeat the stretch for three more deep breaths. 
  • Stretch the other side of your neck the same way

 

Reality Check      

  • Can you feel less pulling in your jaw after you do this stretch?
  • That sensation of pulling (that is now gone) is there ALL THE TIME!
  • ... and your jaw muscles have to pull up on the jaw all the time just to keep your jaw in a neutral "relaxed" posture.

 

Image Resource Note:

Playtysma/Hyoid Anatomy image redrawn from Neumann's fabulous text. For more info: Click here

Stretch photograph is taken from the 2nd ed of the Client Self Care Manual (currently in revision).

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