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Old 12-16-2008, 12:02 PM   #1
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Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

I'm being treated by a neuromuscular dentist. I'm undergoing the full deal with tensing followed by orthotic adjustments. I just had my first adjustment post getting the initial fitting.

Dentist tensed my neck muscles but they were still in spasm after 45 minutes so he said something about 'ascending' and he has referred me to a cranial osteopath. I see this guy in January and then go straight to the NM guy for another adjustment.

I'm reading about cervicogenic headaches and I can relate. These problems all started as computer based work increased, maybe coincidental maybe not. My neck is constantly stiff. Neck muscles refer pain up to behind the eye which is where I get the worse symptom.

I don't know what's going on with me anymore. Do I have TMD or is the whole problem coming from my neck? How can I get an answer? Is the out of whack neck causing the TMD symptoms or vice versa?

People tell me I tilt my head to one side and I noticed that my shoulders are kind of hunched up so something is out of balance in the neck shoulder area.

Anyway this is where Pipdog is at right now, another milestone in the saga

 
Old 12-16-2008, 01:30 PM   #2
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Hey Pipdog - this is almost the same problem I started to debate when my symptoms first started as well. When I asked dentists about it, it was a dental problem causing c-spine issues and when I asked chiros about it they would say its a c-spine issue causing tmj like symptoms - so I am still not sure. But what I do know for sure is you need both addressed at the same time - if a chiro or osteo adjusts you so your cranial planes, atlas, axis, sphenoid, sternum and dura or hips align correctly - yet your jaw remains unbalanced or the bite is so poor it allows the jaw to reposition itself - the adjustments will not hold for long as the jaw needs to be part of the equation. Yet at the same time if you correct the bite and jaw issues only, the other parts of the puzzle may not return back to there correct positions simply on their own account. Plus what many find is the more the body is adjusted to its optimal alignment, the more the bite responds and therefore then requires add'l adjustment as well - until at some point both the primary alignment components of the body and the jaw itself can achieve their optimal resting positions - this in turn allows muscles and joints to work in a functional and relaxed relationship with each other. Probably easier said then done if you ask me.

 
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:37 PM   #3
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pipdog View Post
I'm being treated by a neuromuscular dentist. I'm undergoing the full deal with tensing followed by orthotic adjustments. I just had my first adjustment post getting the initial fitting.

Dentist tensed my neck muscles but they were still in spasm after 45 minutes so he said something about 'ascending' and he has referred me to a cranial osteopath. I see this guy in January and then go straight to the NM guy for another adjustment.

I'm reading about cervicogenic headaches and I can relate. These problems all started as computer based work increased, maybe coincidental maybe not. My neck is constantly stiff. Neck muscles refer pain up to behind the eye which is where I get the worse symptom.

I don't know what's going on with me anymore. Do I have TMD or is the whole problem coming from my neck? How can I get an answer? Is the out of whack neck causing the TMD symptoms or vice versa?

People tell me I tilt my head to one side and I noticed that my shoulders are kind of hunched up so something is out of balance in the neck shoulder area.

Anyway this is where Pipdog is at right now, another milestone in the saga



Pipdog I have recently been diagnosed with cervicogenic headaches. I have Osteoarthritis in my C Spine. I also have TMJ . I am not sure if the headaches are really from the spine. I sometimes wonder if it is frpm the TMJ. Posture I know is somewhat an issue with me.

What are your headaches like? What part of your head?

Biya

Last edited by Biyak123; 12-16-2008 at 02:48 PM.

 
Old 12-16-2008, 11:18 PM   #4
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Hi TL and thanks for the feedback. I recall a diagram, it was like a cartoon showing the head / neck arrangement. The head was shown as a big heavy ball, the neck as a thin pencil and then all these rubber bands representing muscles stretching from the ball down to the pencil to hold it in place. It all looked incredibly complicated and I can well understand how if one component of this mechanism is out how other parts will become affected. Also I didn't realise until recently that the muscles we use to open our jaws are in the front part of the neck.

Biyak123: I have a sore stiff neck especially the back part and then at times a horrible pain behind around my left eye. I bough a book on trigger point therapy for headaches which shows clear diagrams of where trigger points in muscles refer pain to. There is one muscle in the back of the neck the splenius cervicis which refers pain to behind the eye.

How did you get the osteoarthitis diagnosis? Did you have an x-ray?

Last edited by pipdog; 12-16-2008 at 11:41 PM.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 04:59 AM   #5
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Hi Pipdog

I wanted to ask you a quick question. I was contemplating visiting a neuromuscular dentist, was your dentist inside or outside london.

I know there was one in devon, but are there others too.

Nirmal

 
Old 12-17-2008, 08:31 AM   #6
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pipdog View Post
Hi TL and thanks for the feedback. I recall a diagram, it was like a cartoon showing the head / neck arrangement. The head was shown as a big heavy ball, the neck as a thin pencil and then all these rubber bands representing muscles stretching from the ball down to the pencil to hold it in place. It all looked incredibly complicated and I can well understand how if one component of this mechanism is out how other parts will become affected. Also I didn't realise until recently that the muscles we use to open our jaws are in the front part of the neck.

Biyak123: I have a sore stiff neck especially the back part and then at times a horrible pain behind around my left eye. I bough a book on trigger point therapy for headaches which shows clear diagrams of where trigger points in muscles refer pain to. There is one muscle in the back of the neck the splenius cervicis which refers pain to behind the eye.
How did you get the osteoarthitis diagnosis? Did you have an x-ray?


I had X-Rays and a Ct of my C Spine. Do you have throbbing and pain (headache) in the back (occipital area) of your head?

Biya

Last edited by Biyak123; 12-17-2008 at 08:36 AM.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 10:48 AM   #7
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Nirmal,

The one in Devon has a really good website but the questions of his new patients form were too wacky and touchy feely for Pipdog. It was almost as if he thinks we all have psychological problems.

The guy I see now practises out of Harley Street, London. The Las Vegas Institute can give good referrals in the UK. I called them and they told me that while they had many UK members there were only a few who had done 'numerous' courses.

How are you getting on?

Last edited by pipdog; 12-17-2008 at 10:57 PM.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:41 AM   #8
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

For me, the neck problems started as a result of my jaw being out of equilibrium. I know this because my problems started on the left side of my face right after I had my left wisdom tooth out. After a little bit of time, my neck started to hurt on the left, so I'm fairly sure about the cause and effect of this. Did your symptoms first appear in the face/jaw region or were you having muscular body problems before they showed up?

 
Old 12-17-2008, 01:15 PM   #9
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Tiff,

Your feedback was a eureka moment for me - my problems first started in my face, the neck stiffness came later. I had never though of the timing / sequence until you mentioned it so thanks a lot for that input.

Although the dentist mentioned 'ascending' I think now it's probably 'descending' i.e TMJ issues first, neck issues as a follow on. I'll mention this at the next adjustment.

 
Old 12-17-2008, 05:39 PM   #10
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

My problems started with neck stiffness then a month later ear congestion and dizziness. Now I have symptoms that run the gamut from foot pain, leg twitiches, back / neck pain and jaw / facial pain and throat tightness.

I was recently seeing an osteopath that was helping resolve some of my cranial issues. He stressed the relationship between all the symptoms. For the past 6 years or so I've had occasional eye pain and occipital headaches. They were so infrequent that I never thought anything of them. Now I see them as early symptoms of my TMJ / Cranial / Neck problems. These days my eye pain and occipital headaches are pretty much daily. UGH. Sad thing is my osteopath thinks my cranial problems have resolved - however, I feel as dizzy and spasmy as before seeing him . He thinks the jaw may now be the only outstanding issue. I don't know what to think because my back and neck are just killing me lately.

I will start to see a NUCCA at the end of this week and see if attacking the problem from this angle will improve things.

Pipdog.. I have the same splenius soreness / headache that you mention and the tight neck and shoulders. Posture is definitely a trigger, but even when I'm away from the computer I still flare up. I think the osteopath is a good move - the cranial issues have to resolve before the jaw issue can - at least that's what they told me

 
Old 12-17-2008, 10:57 PM   #11
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Loudawg

I heard a very good analogy for a misaligned mandible.

Imagine one of those old fashioned weighing scales where you move a weight to balance the scales. It has to be at an exact point otherwise it goes 'clunk'.

I think we're all been 'clunked' and the splints are to move things back the way nature intended, to balance the whole 'masticatory system' which anatomically includes not just the jaw muscles but the neck as well. You do some moving in one area and that will effect another and so on until its all in the right place. I think this is why the NM dentist said I need to see him for an adjustment immediately the cranio guy has done what ever he is going to do to me.

 
Old 12-18-2008, 04:08 PM   #12
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Hello guys, I have just posted #2 Out of Now-where when noticed your posts. You might be interested to check my analogue.

Be careful with NM's. For some people "their bite", i.e. your NM bite, will coincide with the classic one but for some it can be the bite which is displacing the disks in the jaw. This can be very damaging after all. If you will have troubles leaning forward and down in the NM bite I'd say get at least a second opinion. I'd just stay away from anything damaging the jaw. I heard enough stories and know my own symptoms from too forward jaw position which most of NM's want to establish.

 
Old 12-26-2008, 07:54 AM   #13
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Hi Pipdog

I am fine, just pondering on treatment options. I think ive figured out who the neuromuscular dentist is that you were referring to....

Have you got any idea of how much this type of treatment would cost? Like an approximate range for each stage... Based on a two stage approach, with fabrication of an orthotic followed by stage two which could include bite restoration.

Can you put a range on the first stage.... Thanks for your time.

Nirmal

 
Old 12-26-2008, 05:29 PM   #14
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

There are several NM around. They suggested from $4,500 to $8K for just TENSing and making an appliance which supposedly will stabilize the bite to "where it supposed to be". I had this appliance made but despite claiming that he is "among 1% of dentists in the US who knows how to do a full-mouth restoration" he did not adjust the splint to allow my jaw to move for speaking, or anything; it was causing the jaw pain. The overall estimates for a NM full-mouth were about $50-60K w/o any root canals or anything fancy.

What I did not like was TENSing b/c my jaw moves forward when relaxing but not when it wants to bite on food. From my long experience of TMj symptoms the ear and neck pain is usually from the jaw being too forward. This might happen easily if you have an open bite or a low VDO (vertical dimension of the occlusion).
If you go with NM make sure they do a computer bite registration (that dentist did not do it on me as promised, said it was not needed). As with any other specialist a lot depends on the personality and skills of the dentist.

 
Old 12-29-2008, 07:59 AM   #15
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Re: Confused: Is it TMJ or a neck/posture issue?

Nirmal

The NM dentist has charged me £3000 for phase one. I have no figure for phase 2 as yet, because the work everybody needs can vary so much there is no one standard charge.

What has been central for my treatment is that he was able to stand back from his specialisation and see the bigger picture which is my case is a spinal misalignment so I have to go to a NUCCA person in the new year.

I don't know why I didn't see it earlier but I clearly have major spinal alignment issues going on.
  • Head tilt
  • One shoulder much higher than the other
  • Stiff / sore neck and shoulders

I would encourage everybody on here to look into this aspect as TMD and posture/alignment are so closely linked

I hope everybody will find the answers they need in 2009!

Last edited by pipdog; 12-29-2008 at 08:02 AM.

 
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