I have been on the board for a week or so, and read your post on "what was your first signs"? You said a car accident may have done something to your tmj? Well, I was in a car accident years ago, and I think my tmjd really started from there. I would like to ask you, how soon after the accident did you started having problems and what was the condition of your joints after you had tests done to determine what you had? Sandi
I feel that my problems began with a car accident. (I was stopped and someone rear-ended me going around 40 miles an hour) I had whiplash pretty bad, when the ambulance came to take me to the hospital, I couldn't even lift my neck. They kept me in the hospital due to the fact that I was 6 months pregnant and I started having contractions. I was out of work for awhile because my neck just couldn't get back to normal. Anyway, I would get some pretty back headaches (I've never been one to have them) that wouldn't respond to over the counter tylenol or whatever. During this time, my jaw began clicking, which it never did before. I dealt with this for a few years. A few years later, I blew up 100 balloons for my son's birthday party and boy, the next day it was awful. I guess I pulled the muscles by blowing, and really set them off. From what I now know, I had most of the symptoms of tmjd. I went to see dozens of doctors, had so many tests, then finally got a diagnosis. I wanted to be sure, so I got other opinions after that. All the same. Primary-fibromyalgia, secondary-tmj dysfunction. After all these years I truly believe the tmj dysfunction was first and the fibro second. The pain was so bad from the head and jaw that I couldn't sleep which I believe brought on the fibro. I guess at this point, it really doesn't matter which is first. To be honest with you, I never got a CT scan, MRI or any actual test to confirm this, just doctor's opinions. I was just talking to my son's tmj doc last week and brought up myself (that I'll probably be in to see him shortly) He told me that whiplash and tmjd problems go hand in hand, and it's not uncommon for you not to display any symptoms for years. He said that sometimes all it takes is for something to set it all off, which in my case I believe it was the balloons. Do you think that your problems may have been caused by a car accident? I'd be interested in hearing. Talk to you soon.
Your story is not that much different from my. You had a car accident the same way I had it. I was hit from behind at about 30 mph, but I didn't have any neck pain or anything to that effect right away. It wasn't until about a year later that I started getting neck pains or spasms that really bothered me, so I went to a Dr. about it, and he confirmed it as a whiplash from the accident. But, what I find is really strange is that, I had the whiplash for almost 15 years or so after that, and I then noticed little things that would come up regarding my jaw, that I thought were normal, like dizziness, jaw tension, some clicking,ect. But the real problem with my jaw started 8 years ago, when I was simply yawning before bedtime, and I suddenly felt a painful pull from the ear to the jaw line area. I thought there wasn't going to be anything of it, until about a week or so after that I was chewing gum for awhile that I noticed my jaw was really bothering me to the point of painful spasms. That's when I went to the Dr. about it. So, the rest is history.
What's interesting between your situation and my is that we both were in a accident and had jaw problems later on, regardless how long after the accident it started.
I didn't get any special tests done yet to determine actually what condition my joints are in, but I will sometime later this summer, hopefully.
I had this disorder for 8 years now, with a bite splint to wear at night. My dentist, is recommending braces, but right now I am looking at all the options out there. I don't want to be in a treatment that based on theory but on facts. I also don't want to be in a position of no return if a specific treatment doesn't work for me. The splint therapy is ok for now, but not good enough for me.
It seems to me that once our joints become damaged in any way, shape or form, and a simple act like blowing up ballons or yawning before bed will change the course of our lives.
I like to ask you, what kind of treatment are you on now?
Thanks for listening, and have good evening and a good day tomorrow!
Our causes of this problem do sound so similar! Initially following the balloon incident,(after I got a diagnosis) I went to physical therapy every day for about a month. Since then, I find that heat seems to help,and I have used Naprosyn at times. I try to stay active, due to the fact that stress seems to make me much, much worse. Right now, I think it's time for me to get a splint made, dealing with stress seems to be taking it's toll on me. I've had problems with this for around 10 years now.
As for braces, make sure if that is the direction that you chose, you don't begin treatment until your problems are under control. My son has been miserable with these same problems, from what I believe, due to braces. It began for him this past December and we can't seem to get it under control as of yet. Needless to say, I had his braces taken off early. Spend as much time as you can doing research before committing to any type of irreversible therapy. You don't want to get worse.
Sometimes I get worried wondering after dealing with this for 10 years if my joints have really become affected. I do believe though that this (at least for me) began as a muscular problem. Hopefully, that's what it still is. Well, let me know how you're doing, and have a good day tomorrow, too!
[This message has been edited by CherylLynn24 (edited 10-30-2003).]
Hi I'm from australia and I had a car accident in 1999 except i hit the person in front (i was 25 at the time) i didn't get any symtoms till october 2000 after dental work began on some front teeth that were damaged long before any of this happened i was trying to get them looking good. Still to this day i haven't been back to a dentist I can't. I have had intensive physio and it has worked i have had ups and downs but appareantly it all stems from a neck problem that was diadnosed by the physio she did a cervical xray and found deficiencys that were causing the tmjd. But she said the car accident didn't help. All it takes is one thing to set it all off and i think the dental work was the last straw. I have had a setback these last few weeks which i am dreadfully upset about i had made alot of progress I had a severe cold and everything has just gone backwards. It sounds stupid but the cold tightened up all my jaw muscles and started the popping(pressure fullness) in my ears again. That fateful day i had the car accident seems a life time ago but it has ruined my life.Its been one hell of a struggle and I'm sick of it.
I do agree with you that getting braces is not something to take lightly due to the fact that some but not all patients had problems with it. Like I said before, I am looking at every angle on this subject of braces.
As for your son, what type of braces did he wear? Traditional type or functional jaw type?
I am very surprise to hear that you had this disorder for 10 years, and you don't wear a bite splint! Your problem can't be as bad as my...maybe. I thought everybody who has tmjd wear them. It helps me, but it certainly doesn't cure it by no means. I read somewhere, I don't remember where, that if a person with a tmjd just has a muscle problem, and not a joint problem, that it can be whipped with proper treatment. Maybe in your case, if you get the splint, it might just be the almost cure you need. You will never know until you try anyway, right?
I will keep you posted to let you know how things go with me in the next few months.
If you do decide to go with a splint therapy, let me know, o.k?
Thanks for responding back to me. I've also read that muscle problems are reversible. It must be quite difficult though, since alot of people still suffer. Fortunately, I consider myself lucky that my problems aren't that bad, there are so many suffering terribly. My son, on the other hand, is one who's having a real problem with this. He wore traditional braces. We've tried physical therapy, muscle relaxants, massotherapy, a few other drugs, not to mention that he's on his 3rd splint. It's just been very frustrating to see that nothing seems to be working for him. He just got a new splint this past week, and I've got my fingers crossed that this might be the one to provide some relief. We'll see. Take Care and I'll talk to you soon.
Welcome to our board! All the way from Australia! I would love to go there sometime.
I am sorry to hear the pain you are going through wait now, but you can only take one step at a time and there is always, always, a brighter light ahead of you!
I agree with your Dr. that the car accident and the dental work on your teeth has set off a vicious cycle of pain in your joints. I only thing I can say to you now, is make sure you have a really good tjmd Dr. in your area to treat you. As for your neck, do the physio faithfully, if that is your treatment, and you will get better in time, but it does take a long, long time to feel the benefits from it
Keep reading our posts and stay on the board for awhile. You will learn alot just from reading.
You are right, a car accident does change the course of your life, but we just have to make alot of effort on our part to get better. We are all on the same boat.