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TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint Message Board
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:45 PM   #1
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not sure if the pain is TMJ anymore

I know I have TMJ/Bruxism, don't question that when I wake up clenching my teeth, or a bunch of them are throbbing in pain, or it hurts to open my mouth, or chew food, it's not hard to understand, but this muscle tension in my face, I am seriously beginning to wonder about, I thought it was the TMJ but after today, I don't know.

When I started exercising earlier, I got this sharp chest pain/tightness in my chest (only on my left side) & shortness of breath, then I get worsening of my back pain, between my shoulder blades I guess, toward the left side, it's burning, & the pain starts radiating into my left shoulder, neck, & arm, and then my facial muscles go all crazy hurting in both sides of my face. And then the headache sets in.

Can an area of pain in your back cause muscle tension in your face? Cause it really seems like it might be doing so.

My doctor mentioned maybe a problem in my neck, but it's not a problem in my neck, it's in my back. Then he told me he thinks the problem with my back is due to my mattresses because I wake up hurting & it gets better after I'm up awhile. However with exercise, it makes it worse, & persistant. And I've switched mattresses. I also got new one's now, it's not helping. And if it was a mattress issue, wouldn't it make sense that the pain would stop if I changed the mattresses?

I would have at least apprieciated a muscle relaxant to see if it's muscle strain that would go away with treatment, but not a happening. I mean wouldn't it make sense to do that before doing an expensive MRI that may not even show the problem if it is strain. But well I'm stuck without either.

 
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
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Re: not sure if the pain is TMJ anymore

I've often wondered the same thing - if all of my pain is really TMJ related. I'm still not pain-free, so I can't really answer that question for you. But I can say that my pain got a LOT more manageable once my TMJ dentist referred me to a physical therapist.

The physical therapist didn't even really touch my face much during my appointments with her. It was primarily neck and upper back exercises, and it really has helped not only pain in my back, but also the pain in my face (which is why I was referred to her in the first place).

It sounds like you're experiencing something similar to what my problems were - kind of like your back muscles are somehow pulling on your face muscles. I'd ask your doctor for a referral to a PT. The PT will have more a whole body approach to your problems and be to identify what muscles need strengthening or stretching.

 
Old 06-05-2009, 05:46 PM   #3
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Re: not sure if the pain is TMJ anymore

There may be swelling in my back. I had someone rub some medication on it and they said it was all red in the area where it hurts.

I really wouldn't want PT except maybe as a last option. I hate trying to drag myself places regularly with this chronic fatigue. I want meds to make it freekin go away. And if that doesn't work, I want an MRI so I can find out what the snot is wrong.

I actually do know how to stretch these muscles without PT. I have had PT before and they showed me. So I will start doing that at home and see if it helps any. Good advice, thanks!

Did you by any chance find out why your muscles were doing that? I do feel that pulling pain, not always, but sometimes.

 
Old 06-06-2009, 10:14 AM   #4
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Re: not sure if the pain is TMJ anymore

My problems apparently started in my right leg. I pulled a muscle years ago that never quite healed right. I ended up having a leg that was "functionally" longer than the other, meaning that the muscles and ligaments were holding one tighter than the other to make my right leg look/act shorter.

That started pulling at my back and basically made me hunched over to my right side, the whole way up to my head tilting to the right. So now I have to stretch out my leg muscles, and rebuild upper back muscles to hold my head in its proper position. Every day that I rebuild more of those back and neck muscles, the better my face muscles feel. It's a slow process, but I really think this might be "the thing" that fixes me.

For the record, I've always known how to do a lot of the exercises that my PT has me doing. But I was doing them with that head tilt without even knowing it, so I was building muscle to reinforce my problem when I was working out before. It might be a good idea to get a brief evaluation from someone like a PT to make sure you aren't doing anything to make your problem worse and not better. I may not have ever had any TMJ/face problems at all if I would've had my leg checked out years ago.

Good luck with your pain!

 
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