I have pain shooting down my right jaw from my ear, the past for weeks. After an ER visit, dental visit, gen doc, and an ear nose and throat doc. It was determined I have a really bad case of TMJ due to stress on my neck shoulders and clenching my jaw. So I have been using heating packs, stretching exercises, Advil , and being aware of the problem and several time through out the day remember to relax. I have been doing this for almost two weeks now and nothing really helps. Does anyone have any suggestions?
MELT Method Physical therapy focuses on rehydrating your connective tissue. I've had muscle pain/spasms since I was a kid but within the last two years (I'm 21 now) I started suffering severe debilitating nerve pain. I have literally tried EVERYTHING from the various kinds of antidepressants, anti-seizures, cortisone injections, and many different physical therapies where I left in a lot of pain and never saw a difference. I get really bad migraines in the morning from clenching my jaw at night (TMJ) and sometimes throughout the day when there is any strain on my eyes (extreme light sensitivity) and eventually I could barely open and/or close my mouth and it was agonizing to try to talk or eat. MELT is totally natural, really simply, usually covered by insurance under PT, and has been the only thing keeping me out of wheelchair, behind the wheel of a car, and breathing comfortably. Definitely worth looking into!
I find that if i can get my neck to relax a bit the muscles don't push on the facial nerve as much. I don't know if you could use a tens machine for your neck and shoulders but i highly recommend it if your condition allows. i also use peppermint oil to help with neck, jaw, facial pain and headaches. Self massage around the base of the jaw and in front and behind the ear. Do both sides. Definitely check out the physical therapy juneapplebee mentioned. And remember that these things take time. Your body sees the tension in your muscles as normal and it needs to be retrained. I've been working on mine (neck shoulders and mid back) for 6 years and i still go to physical therapy every 2-3 weeks and massage once a month. I'm better than i was.
I also have TMJ & migraines, chronic neck pain from DDD/fusions. They all are interrelated so when ones out everything else starts hurting too. My ear pain is from my TMJ. A dentist can give you a type of nerve block shot (orally). Doesn't hurt any worse than a dental procedure. I also have a splint I wear except when eating, made by an orthodontist for the TMJ/grinding/clenching.
Newbie, I wish I had an answer... I was just diagnosed yesterday and I'm miserable. They said eat softer food, no gum chewing, no bagels, no really crunchy things, etc. Also heat packs and anti inflammatory meds. If you find something that's working better, let us know.
I have heard as Flappy mentioned of a some brace/splint ( can't think of correct word) you can sleep with so avoid the grinding you do. Also, for neck muscles ( as I suffer from that) besides the above mentioned strategies, I use kinesiology tape for neck and shoulder area and find that really helps also.
The one thing I should have added about MELT method is it acts immediately, usually improving every time you do it. If you don't drink enough water it can have adverse effects because there's not enough fluids in you to rehydrate the connective tissue. The stretches/exercises provided me almost immediate relief, not 100% but enough to make it livable for the most part
Kinesiology tape is an elastic cotton strip of tape with adhesive on and some physical therapist use it to help with pain, inflammation, muscle endurance etc.... If you watched the last couple of Olympics, ,any of the athletes had many colorful strips of kinesiology tape in various patterns. You apply it in certain ways to achieve your goal. If you look up "rocktape.com" it will give you a good explanation of how it works and how to apply it. The is the brand name I have been using since 2012 when an occupational therapy office used it on me. I just order it on line and have learned to apply to myself. It does not take away all the pain but definitely lowers the level. Worth a try!
Thank you so very much for the explanation, Sandibeach!! I'm going to look it up and order some. It sure is worth trying. I'm willing to read and try suggestion and then read up on it so perhaps I could use whatever to feel better... (That sentence is so incorrect, I feel like a blithering idiot.... LOL!!!) thanks for the help!!
MELT is super simple, and really the only expense if your insurance covers PT appointments is if after a few sessions you see improvement the roller and soft golf ball sized balls that you use (I know sounds a little weird stay with me lol) to lightly sheer your muscles. It overall helps align and balance your body, rehydrate the connective tissue by using the squishy roller the you put along your spine, horizontally along your back, thighs, and calves (gives support where you need it). While focusing on taking deep even breaths, you stretch, releasing lactic acid and allowing the connective tissue to rehydrates. It's sort of a mix of yoga, and connective tissue therapy. I was at a point where plantar fasciitis and sciatica had me as close to a wheelchair as I'd ever like to get! Finding this was the only good thing that came out of my last lousy rheumatologist, and it was also a blessing Within 3 MELT visits I was able to stand and move about for over 2 hours (hadn't been able to in 5 months)...and then we realized my hips kept rotating forward which was causing swelling/burning/extreme skin sensitivity all through entire hip bone and leg. Found a 5 minute exercise that puts it back in place. It's helped open up my scapula/clavicle releasing some of my chest tension and pain and reduced the severe electrical nerve impulses that would shoot from my armpit, through my elbow, and into the thumb/pointer joints. Its helped with things I didn't even realize were wrong! I don't know if you're looking at this through the app on your cell or on your computer but heres a link to the website. http://www.meltnc.com/page715.html
The point of the splint/mouthpiece is to keep you from causing further damage to your teeth. Dental is so expensive and such a pain in the ass and generally brings on a flare. I do notice my headache is worse in the morning if I forgot to use my splint.
My orthodontist wants me to wear my splint 24-7-365, except when eating. He's hoping to protect the teeth I have as week as keep my upper teeth from falling down (no teeth below 2 back jaw teeth). I kept having to put off getting replacements, and little did I know that I had bone deteriorating faster than normal. Its too late for me. But anyone else debating a root canal v/s pull & replace...get the root canal and crown because it saves a lot of time & money in the end.
June, thank you so much for the information and for sharing the link with me. I will definitely look into it. FlappsyLady, I have seen that you mentioned a mouth splint for your TMJ and I found that to be very interesting. I, however, have full dentures (upper and lower) and can't imagine how that would work if I don't have my own teeth because it would not be completely stable. I also have a question for you, what keeps you from clenching down on the splint?? Even with my dentures, I still feel myself clenching my jaw in tension and have to be mindful to stop myself from doing it. Sometimes I realize it and then relax my jaw and within a few moments, realize I am right back to doing it again. It's no wonder that the left side of my jaw is deteriorating so quickly. I know all this stuff happening to me is auto immune and that my body for whatever reason, is attacking itself and breaking down my bones. Perhaps I should ask my dentist about that splint anyway... It's not like I have to go far, she lives right next door!! LOL...
AlwayZ, I still clinch my jaws when stressed or angry. But because the whole TM joints have shifted, my lower jaw went backwards, I have a complete overbite now where the jaw teeth only touch partially. I've made myself so subconscious of "not grinding/clenching" that I find my jaws stays slightly open even if my lips are closed. I've trained myself to do this by keeping the tip of my tongue pushed against my top teeth.
If you have dentures I don't think you'd want a hard splint against your gums. My first splint was soft and rubber like. Maybe you could get something like that, just to help keep your jaws apart.
Look up "Trigeminal neuralgia" its very likely this is what you have and what I believe I have (I also have TMJ that comes and goes) but I too haven't found anything to help. I've learn alot from everyone's post! Very informative! It seems I learn more and more from people than my own doctor's! I pray and wish everyone a better painfree life. Thanks everyone
My TMJ recently came back with a vengeance, along with dizziness and double vision. I thought I might have gotten an ear infection which caused the dizziness. After giving in I went to the hospital that said I had a severe allergic reaction to nortriptyline. Long story short after my visit I started taking my muscles relaxers at night along with ibuprofen an ice pack and night gaurd. My jaw is finally feeling better. Try an ice pack throughout the day with an NASID and try not to talk as much as possible. I hope this helps. God bless
Buggin., I have TMJ really badly as well. I deal with the dizziness and the clogged feeling and also the incessant ringing in your ears. I hope that your treatment plan helps you and that you get some relief. All the very best to you.
Buggin, I have the same exact problems and I go next week to pick up my new splint. I've lost more hearing and they recommended hearing aids. But I don't think it'll help because of the incessant high pitched ringing.
I never knew what MELT was called. My husband was sent to a rather intense 3 week physical therapy class and they showed him how to do it at home. When you break yourself in the army they can really take care of you. The wait list is horrible but great program! It was all day PT, yoga, classes, pool therapy, acupuncture, Tens, the works. We have so many gadgets at home now we're considering converting our guest bedroom into a "woo woo" room for all the homeopathic stuff we use. LOL. I've noticed the difference and it is big. Just getting out of bed used to be a chore and I can tell when he was too lazy to do it the night before. With these stretches and MELT he was able to wean himself off all of his medication. He still uses them if he pushes himself too hard but it is so much better than before. Amazon sells the rollers pretty cheap and they're well worth the investment.
Eddieray is correct. My PT tech said do not place them on the jugulars or the forehead. They said its because it can change the rhythm of the pulse in the heart, and affect signals to/from the brain. The tech isn't a doctor but it makes sense.