I had a concussion two years ago with loss of conscionceness. Since then nero doc has stated MTBI, TMJ and prescribed Tegretol. I still have issues with balance, memory and stabbing pain through the region between the mandible and maxillary. I am almost at wits end, any ideas??
Look on the great tmj doctors thread at the top of this page......There may be a doctor on there in a surrounding state or near you that can help. I have had great success with a neuromuscular tmj specialist, and I've been in treatment for about a year. Check the thread!
Tegretol is a very popular medication for nerve pain, but is not likely to have much of an effect on TMJ pain, nor is it likely to improve memory function. The improvement in your memory and general mental status will dependon the severity of your brain injury, but there are mental exercises and cognitive therapy exercises that your doctor can suggest. You may benefit from a short stay in a rehab facility if your impairments significantly impact your quality of life.
How much Tegretol are you taking? If you are near the maximum, your doctor may want to try adding something specifically for the TMJ (muscle relaxants and anti-spasm meds are commonly used.) If the Tegretol is not effective in reducing your nerve pain, there are many other drugs that can be tried. Antidepressants, anti-seizure meds, and anti-anxiety meds are often highly effective for nerve pain. In addition, your doctor may want to have you try Neurontin (also very popular for nerve pain, and it is generally well tolerated.) If none of these approaches give sufficient relief, you might require low doses of opioid medications (like Vicodin and others.) See a pain management specialist if you aren't getting very far with your current doctors. Chronic pain can be very difficult to treat, but the field of pain medicine has made much well-needed progress in the past ten years or so. Best of luck.