I've been doing a lot of research since I've come down with TMJ. I have been having nonstop head and neck pain for months and months, and I guess I just thought I had a bad headache aggravated by tension or something. But now I realize I have MPD (Myofascial Pain Disorder). My scalp is extremely tight all over and the base of my skull (upper neck) are horrid every single day.
I recall when the onset of this was. It happened after I came off Klonopin (a tranquilizing med and muscle relaxant I was prescribed in the hospital for a toxic reaction to another med). The withdrawal I had was very severe, and all my muscles tightened up all over the place, especially in my head, neck and shoulders. I had this severe muscle tension for a couple of months and then I noticed my jaw started clicking, and that's when my TMJ came into play.
So in my case anyway, it appears that it was the severe muscle tension that brought on the TMJ. I still have the head and neck pain very bad. But now, I have jaw pain and tightness on top of that.
My question is if a splint for TMJ could help the muscle spasm over the rest of my head because it seems in my case the muscle spasm was the cause of the TMJ - not the other way around like most dentists tell you - that the muscle spasm is caused by the TMJ. My muscle spasm was caused by drug withdrawal and not TMJ, so I'm wondering if a splint will even help my neck and head pain or if the TMJ and MPD are two separate problems. I hope this is clear what I'm trying to ask here.
I'm wondering similar things. My case is somewhat similar in that I had a Myelogram procedure (where they inject dye into the dura, lining of the spinal cord). I had a horrendous reaction to the procedure and presented with excruciating head pain and pressure the followng day. The pain only got worse, despite the fact that I was told it was a spinal leak and would seal itself withing a week or so - and be done with. I had 2 procedures to try to seal the leakk (more injcetions into the lumbar spine). Neither of these worked and I was unable to function - couldn't stand up - for months and months. Through all this, I had terrible pressure and pulling into the neck and jaw....until one day last September my jaw suddenly felt dislocated (new pain). I do think the year of continous tension and pressure in my skull eventually brought about the tmjd.
I have been classified as having myofacial pain prior to all this, but it did not effect my upper body before. I have problems with my lumbar spine and sacroilliac joints. This whole head/neck thing was defintitely a product of the myelogram... as yours seems to be a product of the Klonopin withdrawl.
The bottom line though.... when you tell doctors/tmj dentists the history, they listen (sort of)...and then just go on from there. I guess they aren't real concerned with the "trigger" for the tmj. It seems very important to us - as we know we didn't have any pain or symptoms prior to the "trigger event". Still, the docs just go on with their business...
Currently I am wearing a nm splint. Can't say it's helped my neck pain/spasms very much. My dentist did say that these pains can ascend and decend. If the problem is really the neck.... and the jaw is secondary - the splint may not help very much. If the primary is the jaw - they expect the splint to calm down the facial muscles ...and the neck should follow.
Hope some of that was helpful. I understand your frustration. TMJD and myofacial pain is no way to live.
I wish you the best... RR
[This message has been edited by RobynRose (edited 09-04-2003).]