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Persistent Jaw issues

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Lauren.R89, Jul 6, 2019.

  1. Lauren.R89

    Lauren.R89 Peer Supporter

    can someone help me make sense of this. So my jaw has been stuck on the left side since February. I’ve gone through PT, chiro, acupuncture, several tmj doctors... nothing has unstuck it. This last time an mri showed that the disc on the left was flattened and moved forward limiting my range of motion. I frequently get tight and sore and chewing is difficult on that side of my jaw. I want to treat this as tms (as I do have that and my
    Symptoms move often) but this hasn’t moved and is stubborn. Sometimes the pain is less but it’s always stuck on the one side. Surgery would be my next option and I just TRULY do not want to do that (and it has mixed results from what I’ve researched). Can anyone help me make sense of this from a TMS perspective given that I can tell there is a little something structural going on. Thanks in advance for helping me
  2. angieszen

    angieszen New Member

    Hi Lauren,
    I had TMJ pain for years and it was horrible. Nothing I could take would touch that pain. I don't know that I can make any TMS connection except to say that looking back now I understand there was so much tension in my jaw area and I was unable to relax it - it was certainly brought on by stress. After doing TMS work for my current chronic pain (right buttock and hip) I can see how I was in a loop with the TMJ pain that amplified the pain. I did chiro, acupuncture, countless orthodontists, pt, and oral pain doctors. So much money, time and tears. I did finally get relief - I was working with a cranial osteopath who sent me to a myofunctional therapist (kind of a pt using face exercises). The whole thing felt a bit crazy but after a year of doing exercises - and seeing the osteopath - the pain slowly went away. I hesitate to list this in a TMS forum - because it does sound like running from healer to healer and that is not Sarno's path - but there is something there with the jaw and face exercises. And certainly worth a try before surgery! I do think the jaw pain was TMS adjacent - and clearly since I am not pain free yet, you could say the pain has simply moved to a new spot - so it was not as easy as just dealing with the structural. Here is where I am stuck a bit with the TMS approach ... I sometimes think that the stress/emotions are creating conditions that trigger the pain - ie it is not as simple as the brain is up there flipping switches to distract. So, in case of TMJ pain, emotions/stress tighten muscles and that creates physical patterns/compensation that create pain. If this chain reaction can be broken - as I believe it was with the face exercises - then the muscles can finally unclench. It is almost like the muscles are stuck in the on position. I certainly feel that is what happens now when my current pain flares up. The other piece of jaw pain - and it may not be an issue for you but I bring it up just in case - is if you are taking any benzodiazepines then that can create TMJ pain. I was using valium as a sleep aid - very bad idea -and I beleive that is another part of what triggered the TMJ pain. Anyway, I found TMJ pain to be similar to back pain that is always blamed on herniated disc in that when you go to new orthodontist they will point to the bite and say - yes of course you have pain, look how out of whack your teeth are. But in fact there are so many people with teeth all over the place that have zero pain. And those with perfect teeth and pain. The orthodontists I saw were so confident about what was causing my pain and they truly had no idea. Not sure any of this is helpful and forgive me if I strayed to far out of TMS theory but I thought some of this might be of interest to you. Best, Angie
  3. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Sweetheart, TMJ has been one of TMS symptoms and like you I had immense doubts and many questions. This is natural and very much a part of a learning curve. Even conventional doctors and dentists acknowledge the powerful role tension plays in this condition so it really is worth shifting your attention from the physical side and physical therapies to a wider mind~body approach. I know that’s hard when you have apparent structural issues but fretting only increases tension and your focus now needs to be on relaxing and soothing.

    Have a look at this thread, then jump back in with your thoughts.

    https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/can-tmj-issues-be-structural.18865/#post-99979 (Can TMJ issues be structural?)

    Plum x

    Edit: you may need to scroll up. I’m posting on an iPhone and the link is a bit off.

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