This new problem started 3 weeks ago. I woke up and I had shooting pains down my arm, deep pain in my shoulder, the opposite side of my tmj, and my thumb was tingling. I went to the doctor and he thought I had a pinched nerve so he gave me some steroids to reduce the inflamation. I took them for 5 days and was on vacation when I finished them. Unfortunatley, they didn't help at all. He called in a prescription for pain killers to get me through my vacation. When I got home I saw him again and he scheduled me for an mri next tuesday. He also gave me another pain reliever-tramadol because I couldn't take the vicodin during the day. I also asked him if this had anything to do with my tmj and he didn't think so. Has anyone had a problem like this? I don't know if it's related but I'm in so much pain and all the pain killers to is make me sick to my stomach and dizzy. I have an appointment with the pain clinic a week after my mri but I don't know how I can wait that long. Can someone help?
I have had pinched nerves in the past and developed one again a few weeks ago. In my experience pinched nerves require time to heal - I think of it as a wound resulting from injury. Although meds will help somewhat relieve the pain, lots and lots of very warm moist compresses with some type of oitment or linament (Ben-gay, etc) work well for me although it takes several weeks for the pain, tingling, burning sensation to fully disappear. I have had a pinched nerve on each arm and one leg in the past and now more recently my neck - they are very painful, I know. I also try avoiding using the affected area as well - although it is difficult to not use your neck, arm or leg - I would just try to keep it in the position that caused the least amount of pain. The nerve will eventually relax on its own and mend itself, although I was left with localized numb spots where the pinched nerve originated but nothing you really notice. With my recent occurence my chiro tried to help it with adjustments but it did no good so I went back to what had worked before. Don't be alarmed if it takes a few weeks to a couple of months - just keep putting the very warm compresses on it with some type of linament as often as you can.
Thank you so much for your reply. I was really getting down about it because its so painful and it's just one more thing to worry about on top of the tmj. I hate taking the pain killers, I've tried the moist heat and it seemed to help, I also have my husband folding laundry tonight! Thanks again for your help.
I've been through this or at least something similar. I also woke up one morning with excruciating neck, shoulder and arm pain and tingling in my fingers. It was so bad I felt physically sick and went to see my Dr. who ordered an MRI. I'm glad you're having this - it will make it clear what the problem is quickly. Anyway, it turned out I had a herniated disc which was pressing on my spinal column as well as the nerve. The nerve was causing all the pain but the spinal column was the real danger, as if the disc cut through the cord I was told I could be paralyzed. I ended up having disc surgery very quickly and after a long and slow recovery am doing fine in that respect. If you just have a pinched nerve, conservative therapy is recommended - perhaps some PT. Most cases resolve without surgery - mine was the exception, but it's good to rule out anything more serious.
As far as the pinched nerve being related to TMJ, I wonder that often myself. My TMJ is on the opposite side from my nerve problems as well. The TMJ symptoms did not really flare until shortly after my surgery and I've often wondered if there is a cause/effect here. The neck is really a complicated part of the body and the doctor's I've asked say they don't know of any research proving a link, but it certainly seems feasible.
Anyway, I hope your MRI results are good and a little rest and TLC resolves your pinched nerve problems. (I found it helpful to reduce pain to lie on my back as much as possible and to keep my arm above my head.) Best wishes!
My sister has or at least had a herniated disc as well - she couldn't put her arm down for 2-3 weeks. When she was told she needed surgery and would have to wear the halo for a week afterwards she freaked out literally. So I took her to my chiro and he was able to get the disc to go back where it belonged - but it did take 2 months for that to happen and she was crying most of the time until one day she woke up with no pain. She was lucky b/c I understand the surgery is pretty complicated and there are a couple of different methods of doing it depending on the drs training and preference. But only an MRI or at least a head/neck xray can determine if the disc is herniated or not. I guess I am lucky as well since mine is just a pinched nerve - hopefully that's all Suzq's is as well. I am glad your surgery worked well for you - I know, I would wonder if it had some cause relationship with the tmj as well. You just never know sometimes - don't you wish you could have a real crystal ball?
The mri results confirmed that I do have a pinched nerve. It is soooo painful. I have an appointment at a pain clinic next week so they can give me some injections. I'm just wondering how this relates to my tmj problem. I haven't been wearing my splint at night because I've been in so much pain and can't sleep but my teeth feel like they're lined up better. There's also been so much other pain that I haven't noticed the tmj problem. Could the muscle spasms from the tmj situation have caused or triggered the pinched nerve or vise versa? I guess these are questions for the doctor next week.
I woke up with mine so I think it has something to do with the position my jaw is in when I am laying down - its pretty uncomfortable - so I must be keeping my head in a certain position b/c of it or am tense and trying not to move. So I changed the position of my cervical pillow and started to let my head hang off or over it. My pinched nerve is almost gone now - I just have some tingling but very little - all the sharp pain has stopped and I can move my neck and arms again without causing any pain or that burning sensation. Too bad I still have all the other stuff going on due to the tmj. When I pinched a nerve in my upper arm many years ago my dr tried a cortisone shot in the area of the pinched nerve - it did help relax the muscles a bit so I am sure some type of muscle relaxant injection will help it.