I have had tmj for 6 years and I was in pain but I was still able to function until Feb. of this year. That is when my jaw decided to lock up for no reason and still has not stopped doing that. In my opinion it seems to get worse if it doe not get treated correctly. I am now in severe pain which keeps me from doing a lot of things, for example working. Since I was not able to treat mine correctly I also now have joint issues. I think that each case is different. I personally had a lot of pain the second after I got injured on the roller coaster ride. Some others may not ever see pain as a symptom.