5 Breathing and Neck Exercises to Relieve Ear Canal Pressure

Ear canal pressure may not only cause pain, but it may affect your hearing and balance. Neck exercises to relieve ear canal pressure can be used in conjunction with medications and your doctor's recommendations when you have ear canal pressure.

Neck exercises can relieve ear pressure. (Image: PeopleImages/iStock/GettyImages)

In addition to pressure caused by ear aches and infections, some pressure in the ear and jaw can result from temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, disorder and other joint-related ailments. Basic neck exercises will help loosen the muscles surrounding your jaw, which can indirectly relieve canal pressure.

Pressure in Ears and Neck

Ear barotrauma is caused by a change in pressure with respect to the middle of your ear and the outside environment. Barotrauma can cause pressure in the ears and neck. This is commonly seen on planes during the ascent and descent. In addition to swallowing, chewing gum and yawning, individuals can perform certain neck exercises to help release pressure in the ear.

HOW TO DO IT: Start by dropping your jaw, placing both of your hands on the sides of your neck. As you lower your jaw, exhale slowly, keeping your fingers on your neck and under your jaw to make sure you are properly lowering your jaw. Breathe in and out deeply several times while in this position.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Lymphatic drainage massage is designed to relieve pressure in your ear as well as to relieve ear aches.

HOW TO DO IT: Lie down on your side with your legs straight and arms at your sides. Place your index and middle fingers firmly behind your jaw bone and under your ear. Slide down your neck, applying pressure on the region as you slide down. Repeat this 10 to 15 times on both sides of your neck before stopping.

Neck Extension Isometrics

Exercise will help improve strength and range of motion in your neck, indirectly helping you reduce ear canal pressure during changes in external pressure.

HOW TO DO IT: Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and arms at your sides. Take your right hand and place it directly behind your neck and the base of your skull. From there, apply light pressure to the back of your head. Resist this pressure by keeping your head in the same position. Repeat until fatigued.

Neck Rotation Exercise

This exercise can help you reduce ear canal pressure by loosening up your jaw and neck muscles.

HOW TO DO IT: Sit up straight up with both of your feet on the floor. From here, slowly rotate your head and neck to the right, continuing to rotate until your head is parallel with your right shoulder. Slowly return to your original position and repeat, going both ways until fatigued. As you improve, place a hand on your neck to provide slight rotation during your exercise.

Options to Release Ear Pressure

A simple breathing exercise is another option to release ear pressure.

HOW TO DO IT: Breathe in. Plug your nose and close your mouth. Without releasing this pressure, gently exhale as if you are blowing your nose. This might make a popping sound in your ears as the tubes in your ears open to regulate pressure.

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