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Day 1 - TMJ Pain

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by NHFencer, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. NHFencer

    NHFencer Newcomer

    Good evening everyone, I have been suffering from daily chronic TMJ (temporal mandibular joint pain) for nearly four years, I have spent thousands and tried every conceivable remedy without success, virtually nothing has worked for me with the exception of OTC pain killers (Ibuprofen/Tylenol). A friend at work recommended Sarno and at first I laughed it off. I got desperate after the supposed expert at Tufts said I ‘was probably in remission from my pain.’ The pain ranges from a constant aching wave that radiates from my jaw joint into my temple and forehead region, it is primarily left sided. I have been evaluated for hemicrania continua, traditional TMJ treatments like moist heat night guards, Botox, months of physical therapy, bite adjustment by a prosthodontist, muscle relaxers, anti anxiety medication two types, trigeminal neuralgia drugs, CPAP machine, melatonin. I’ve seen chiropractors, ENTs, physiatrists, over a dozen specialists and nothing has worked for me. It is daily and grinding, the pain is aching and burning, I can feel that my muscle is sore, the pain is real I don’t know how I’ll be able to ‘convince’ my subconscious that this is a ‘distraction’ but I’m so desperate I will try anything. I have nearly finished Healing Back Pain and started reading the six week program. I definitely feel stressed, I have two young children and a very demanding job in the federal government. I love my life, but it isn’t worth living with all this pain. One question is whether I should continue to use my night guard? Sarno says that you should get rid of any physical supports but my pain is so so much worse without it. Any and all advice you all have would be greatly appreciated especially if you have jaw pain as I do, thank you all.
  2. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I'm glad you found this site, NH, and I wish you every success in applying TMS knowledge to your jaw symptoms.

    You've correctly identified the night guard as a crutch, equivalent to wearing orthotics or using lumbar support cushions. But it's also not the most invasive treatment there is, and it's also already a sunk cost, so here's what I would do in your position, which is to keep using it - BUT ---- every time you wear it, do so with the firm intention that it is just a tool to help you recover, which you will not need in the future.

    As part of this intention, what you want to do is to develop a short meditation/visualization that you can do when you go to bed. Visualize sleeping all night without clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth. If you are willing to accept this as a realistic goal, and if you are willing to believe that this is something that can be accomplished, you will learn that visualization is an incredibly powerful self-help tool.

    I was a jaw clencher, and I developed little cracks on a lot of teeth over my lifetime until I got a nightguard sometime in the 90s - but I stopped using it in 2011, by using this visualization, with apparently no repercussions. Back in the day, I would wake up with my teeth firmly clenched together (nightguard in between) but I haven't done that since I decided I didn't need to do that anymore. A year before that, I stopped using custom orthotics, cold turkey, and stopped going to my chiropractor for regular adjustments to my "bad" neck. Whenever my atlas-occipital joint goes out now, which it sometimes still does, I just talk to it and very gently massage it (more like stroking) back into place - and it's fine the next day, without the old accompanying screaming headache.

    We have SO much more control over all of this than we were ever taught. That being said, you've still got to do the emotional work in order to achieve more than temporary relief.

    Good luck!

    Pietro Carloni likes this.
  3. NHFencer

    NHFencer Newcomer

    Thanks Jan, I really appreciate the advice. I will try the visualization tonight.
  4. Lizzy

    Lizzy Well known member

    Jan has given great advice! I have broken two teeth from clenching and pulling my jaws in opposite directions. I have never had any jaw pain, but wearing the night guard prevents me from damaging my teeth. So, wearing it until you are ready is a good idea.

    Lol, now I can try relaxing and visualization to stop the clenching. We can continue to learn more about TMS; I've never thought about not clenching, since I feel no pain, but now I will :)

    JanAtheCPA likes this.

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