1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

TMJ/Muscle Jaw Spasm

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Kalo, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Hi All,

    I have been going through some ruff times. My trying to care for my poor Mom...She is going through end of life...

    A week ago, after suffering sciatic nerve for 8 months...My left Jaw started to develop TMJ and via my doctor I have a muscle spasm...You can visibily see it.

    She prescribed muscle relaxant which do nothing. It hurts like heck to eat because the spasm hurts..

    I also went to my dentist before the Doctor and she said it is TMJ...

    Is TMJ, TMS? This has been throwing me for a loop cause of the jaw muscle spasm I have..


  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi, Kalo. TMJ is not the same as TMS. Look it up in a google search for symptoms and treatment. But I suspect that if you do have TMJ it has come on because of emotional stress related to being your mother's caretaker. That can create a lot of stress. I know from having been the primary caretaker for my mother when she lived near me for two years. I suggest that if you haven't done the Structured Educational Program, free in the subforum of this web site, you start it. It helps us to discover the emotions causing our pain, and how to deal with them. Dr. Sarno writes about his 12 Daily Reminders about TMS in his book, Healing Back Pain. Here is an extended version of them:

    Herbie’s Extended Version of Dr. Sarno’s 12 DAILY REMINDERS

    1. The pain is due to TMS. This is real pain or anxiety but it is caused by subconscious tensions and triggers, stressors and traits to your reactions and fears and also when at boiling point your conscious tension can and does also cause real pain.
    2. The main reason for the pain is mild oxygen deprivation. This means that when you get in pain or anxiety then the blood is restricted from going to your lower back, for instance. The blood being restricted causes oxygen deprivation which causes the pain. Remember, where there is no oxygen then there is pain in the body. Also, the pain stays because of fear.
    3. TMS is a harmless condition caused by my REPRESSED EMOTIONS so even though you think you can harm yourself from the years of pain you have felt and how you feel in general -- so far no reports have been heard from TMS healing knowledge causing damage to anyone, it only helps.
    4. The principle emotion is your repressed ANGER -- this means under your consciousness lies something that happens automatically to everyone. TMSers have repressions that are stored because of our personality traits, traumas, stressors, fears, strain, etc... When these stored repressions build and build, then eventually they cause the brain to send pain into your body to keep you from having an emotional crises. The mind-body thinks it is helping you.
    5. TMS exists to DISTRACT your attentions from the emotions, stressors, tensions and strains of your personality traits because if you can get distraction then you won’t have to be in emotional turmoil. When you don't face and feel your emotions and they get repressed because you didn't want to deal with something -- they are just adding up in this beaker, ready to pour over and create real pain and anxiety in your body.
    6. Since my body is perfectly normal, there is nothing to fear. So in reality when I fear the pain or anxiety I just cause myself undo strain and tension adding to the beaker of pain. If I fear, then I feed the pain, If I fear, it’s impossible to recondition. Fear keeps the pain and anxiety alive in the body through focus.
    7. Therefore, physical activity is harmless. If I want to work against the pain I could but it’s better to lose some of the pain so when I start my life over I have to be in pain trying to heal because facing the repressions and all the other activities that cause the pain and reversing my fear and focus to them, then I can heal.
    8. I am resuming all normal physical activity. I don't fear moving anymore. I believe in my body’s ability to heal now. I can move as I want. I will not fear moving with a bent back anymore. I will also practice going out and acting normal again, not in fear of what pain might do to me.
    9. The pain is unimportant and powerless. Its only power is how it is hidden -- its illusion, its fear.
    10. I will keep my attention on the emotional issues. I will think about my emotions and feel my emotions throughout the day. I will not judge, criticize or fear my emotions. I will not run from my emotional issues but face every one of them. I will feel my emotions fully and cry if I need to. Then I will release the emotion and get my mind and thoughts back to my life and living in the present.
    11. I am in control of all of this. This is how I recover.
    12. I will be thinking PSYCHOLOGICALLY AT ALL TIMES. This means I will keep my thoughts on psychological issues like happiness, fear and anger -- traits and triggers, conditioning and journaling -- The science behind mind-body/TMS healing, etc.... This way I will not feed my thoughts to the body -- that is a trick of TMS. TMS will always try to get me to focus on the body caused by the pain until I break its show and flair. When I get my attention off physical symptoms and on to emotional issues and psychological issues then I will not feed the fear of the physical issues anymore, thus making the TMS of no pain effect on the body. This will in return, give us the cure and become pain-free.
  3. Hopeful_Alexandra

    Hopeful_Alexandra New Member

    I concur with Walt... I had such severe TMJ for a period that I could barely eat or speak (not exaggerating, I remember being in so much pain that I wrote things down instead of attempting to talk). It eventually went away when I began to treat it as TMS. My dentist prescribed a mouth guard to wear overnight, but I never wore it as I figured it would suggest to my mind that my pain had a structural origin. I mentioned the TMJ issue to Dr. Schubiner (Mindbody doctor in Detroit) and he suggested that mouth or jaw pain is usually related to feeling like we can't "speak" our mind about a certain issue in our lives. In hindsight, I realized that in my case it related to an unhealthy relationship in which I felt unheard and powerless to leave.
    I can't even imagine the stress of having to care for your mother in her last days. Try to take care of yourself if you can.
  4. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    SteveO's book and Dr. Sarno says that TMJ is an eviquelent to TMS I am confused???

    I could see a specialist and see what he thinks...But for muscle spasm they want to do botox injections and expesnive mouth guards.

    I heard those expensive mouth guards sometimes don't help plus I have hear inccidents where people chew right through them...

    My Mom is in a hospice respite care for five days....I have to try to find a nice group home, but she has a limited amount of money.

    I am out of a job and have been living with her so when her social security plus what in her savings goes to her care, I will not be able to afford to live in the house.

    My Money is depleted...and my brother makes no help for anything...

  5. Hopeful_Alexandra

    Hopeful_Alexandra New Member

    Yes, that's what I was saying- TMJ is a manifestation of TMS! Reread my post :)
  6. Kalo

    Kalo Well known member

    Ah got you! Thanks I was scared it wasn't a manifestation!!!

  7. ricky26

    ricky26 New Member

    It was a bit misleading and a bit confusing to state "TMJ is not the same as TMS". Had me concerned to!
    Since I have TMJ and CPP,which both include severe chronic muscle "clenching " and spasm, tension is obviously the culprit but what's the source of pain?? The actual spasms in the muscles or oxygen deprivation?? So good question about TMS and TMJ.
    I'm suffering so much from both. I believe I clench Jaw muscles because I am in extreme pain down in the pelvic floor muscles , Thus vicious cycle of pain. Helpful comments please? !!
  8. fern

    fern Well known member

    Ricky26, midwives say that a tight jaw means a tight pelvic floor and vice versa. They remind laboring women to relax their jaw often because the two so often relax and contract together. So who knows what's causing what for you. It's even possible that it's the same emotional tension causing both.

    Chronic muscle spasm/tension can cause ischemia, which is oxygen deprivation to the muscles due to poor circulation in the clenched area. It's not damaging in this case, but it is painful. So, spasm --> oxygen deprivation --> pain. The muscles can also become fatigued. My pelvic floor was so constantly in spasm that the muscles were actually weak - even though they were always over-engaged! Unable to rest, they actually atrophied. But kept clenching anyway. Imagine if you clenched your bicep all day long without much rest. You wouldn't break it, but it would hurt!

    PT for my pelvic floor helped a lot, but the problem came back because I hadn't addressed the underlying emotional tension that makes me hold myself that way in the first place. That work is definitely changing things for me now. I hope it helps for you!
    readytoheal likes this.
  9. ricky26

    ricky26 New Member

  10. ricky26

    ricky26 New Member

    That's a great reply and thank you! Very useful information especially about the specific relationship between muscle spasm and oxygen deprivation.
    SO, as you correctly stated, all gets back to the emotional issues we currently face, unconscious or subconscious as they may be. That , to me is the real challenge, to seek, find, express these these nasty emotions and deal with them. If you've been successful on that end, and dealing effectively with them and actually experiencing some healing of the physical pain, that's encouraging and I'm very happy for you. I've been struggling with scouring my mind and emotions for a year now, trying to "feel" certain responsible emotion, and am a believer that I have TMS, but just have not found any comfort or relief from pain yet. Just not sure where to go with this now, especially since I've made the bold move to finally just recently to get off ALL pain MEDS after 10 years.
    I MUST find some answers and relief soon. Any words of wisdom on this would be so appreciated, from anyone.
    Thanks again!
  11. fern

    fern Well known member

    I learn something new about what it means to feel subtle feelings every day - I'm still waist deep in all of this TMS learning and journaling, etc. Some days are better than others, but I'm encouraged by the general trajectory. Thank you for your kind words!

    This program is really helping me: http://www.fammed.wisc.edu/files/webfm-uploads/documents/outreach/im/handout_mbs_workbook.pdf

    It's a guided writing exercise that is meant to take just a few weeks, I think, but I only get a half hour or so each day to work on it, so it's taking me a lot longer. Which might be OK. Working in small chunks is allowing me to take time to chew on what I wrote instead of trying to drive myself for hours of solid writing until I hit some sort of revelation. Some days the writing doesn't feel particularly ground-breaking, and then other days I surprise myself with something I can't believe I didn't know about myself or let myself feel. I was really amazed to see how hard the fast-writing section was for me. You are supposed to write so fast that you can't really censor your feelings and you just let the raw emotions pour out, almost before you have a chance to realize what you're writing. Either I write really slowly or I am a master at self-censoring at the slightest whiff of an uncomfortable thought/feeling, but my first couple entries had almost no emotions in them. It was all train of thought stuff. And then after I sat there and let what I wrote hang in the air, all of a sudden I was like, "Wait! I think I might have a feeling about that!" and I had to start the writing over, THIS time reaching my emotions. After doing it a few times I'm getting better at it. Sometimes at first it felt like I was making up feelings that weren't really there. But now I think they're flowing more organically.

    I don't know how this program (which is based on Dr. Schubiner's books, which I am going to have to buy because this process is fitting so well for me) compares to the Structured Education Program on this site. I had found this program before I found the TMSwiki, and I didn't want to start another journaling program on top of what I was already doing. But I definitely love the one I've linked to. Also I hate it some days. Like today! I had to write an "unsent letter" to someone I'd rather never think about. I closed my notebook a couple times, trying to come up with excuses not to write. But I made myself do it, and lo and behold, it was really helpful. Sad and painful to feel, with some lessons I didn't want to learn about myself and the world, but helpful.

    I can't remember if you said you've done Alan's Pain Recovery Program on this site. It has been a really good complement to the expressive writing stuff for me. Alan's program deals more with fear/dread of the pain, desperation to make it stop, obsession with it, etc. Essentially, where the expressive writing stuff helps you feel your emotions without judgment and let them be, Alan's program helps you feel your *pain* without judgment and let it be. The two together are great.

    I hope those resources are helpful! I know what you mean about struggling to find feelings. Sometimes if I can't find one, I'll write, "Why am I NOT mad/sad/upset about this?" and that will be just the prompt I need to explore what's happening inside me. Sometimes I'm just not mad/sad/upset. And that's OK! Other times I'm hiding feelings from myself. The fast writing really helps with that, especially if you follow the "rules" they give.

    Also, I'm discovering that there isn't always some mega-trauma from the past that generates our TMS or emotional patterns. Small things that seem trivial can do it. You have to make a list of possible stressors from your past at the beginning of the program, and while I had a couple big ones, a lot of them seemed like silly things. But they are memories I've carried for decades that continue to make me a little uncomfortable, so I know they must mean something to me. So I wrote them down. And sometimes it's not something from the past at all, or even something happening in the present, but just a consequence of how our personality type deals with daily life (which the program also works through a bit). So there isn't always something ground-breaking. It can be little or stupid. What's important is that it's there.

    I just typed a lot! I hope there was something in there that helps. (And while I know not everyone on here agrees about PT, if you haven't done internal pelvic floor PT yet, what was important about it for me was not that it healed my pain - that was only temporary - but that the internal work hurt. Not terribly, but it definitely didn't feel good. The process of internal PT is basically learning how to relax into the pain, which was huge for me. It's what taught me that my damage wasn't structural, that the pain didn't have to be scary, and that I had a degree of control over how bad it got. Doing that with a PT who knew just how far to challenge me without causing unnecessary pain, whom I trusted and who was not afraid of the process, was very helpful. I wish I had known about TMS while I was doing PT, because the internal work and the emotional work would have been an effective one-two punch. Oh well - I'm taking care of the emotional part now. Just drew out the process a bit. I hope you find your answer soon, too. Better late than never!
  12. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    TMJ Is just another TMS equivalent OR magnification. I just had a couple of days of it around a month ago. It came around while I was taking care of two people...my alcoholic girlfriend and My Dementia patient mother. I finally let it rip (meaning let out a long stream of not so nice things) and the TMJ and the slight buttcheek TMS I was having left...the police took away my GF and I went through a period of being not so sweet to Mom, but...

    Now... I have problems in my personal and emotional life. I have been really sick with bronchitis...but no more TMJ (TMS)!

Share This Page