I was diagnosed with TMJ, after I fell off scaffolding at work and hit the left side of my head on the corner of a toolbox. That was in November of 09. I went to an oral pain specialist, who fitted me for a splint. After that didn't work, in April I had arthrocentesis. The surgeon basically said that he almost couldn't do the procedure, as the muscles were so hard. He said even though my disks are still out, it didn't matter, as he was able to manipulate my jaw back in place and the pain I am experiencing is all muscle pain and I just needed to to some basic exercises. I have been to physical therapy and massage therapy. 9 months later, I still cannot open my mouth all the way, eat anything crunchy/chewy, have constant facial pain that extends into my neck, shoulders and even affects my middle back.
I have massive migraines, that debilitate me, so I have also been to a neurologist, who says I activated my trigemenial nerve. Which I'm taking pamelor and imitrex for the headaches.
I take 2 soma a day, rub traumeel on my face every half hour or so, and down countless Tylenol and advil, which I know is bad, but I cannot make it through the day without anything.
I experience anxiety, especially in stores, where there is a lot of people and loud kids. I have never been a fan of children, but now I have a phobia of them, because they run around and scream. I was becoming agoraphobic also, so I only go places if my fiance is with me.
I'm at the point of not knowing where to go and what to do. I have an appointment with the oral doctor on Friday. He's one of these old school doctors, who gets the definition of doctor and god mixed up. I know, switching Doctors only makes sense. There is a whole issue with workers comp, lawyers and insurance companies involved.
Has anyone else had this experience with muscles after TMJ? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, the muscular issue is a tough one to tackle...the only thing that has helped the headaches and chronic muscular head pain is a neuromuscular orthodic worn 24/7...it's very different from a splint. My dentist is a neuromuscular dentist, and a functional Jaw Orthodontist, as well as a craniofacial pain doc. I know starting with another appliance is probably not what you want to do, but it may greatly help you. Your nervous system is being compromised now...you can understand this better if you research Central Nervous Sensitization from TMD, or chronic pain. I am in treatment right now myself,,,and about 50% through....50% better..
Thanks for the reply's.
I was going to physical therapy once a week and getting massage therapy twice a week. The therapist said my whole body was thrown out of whack, because everything is connected. Jaw out, makes you hold your neck wrong, which drops a shoulder, which gives a hip hike, etc. Basically, I have bad posture now.
I don't know what trigger point releases are, but the massage was VERY painful. The therapist even did muscles inside my mouth. It seemed to help, a little bit, but usually the muscles would harden back up shortly after.
I will look up a neuromuscular dentist. I haven't heard of that. I don't think I should be in this much pain, for this long. At this point, I will try anything.
I have resorted to asking friends and neighbors for old prescriptions of pain killers. My oral pain doc won't give me any. He says I was on them too long. Over 9 months, I have gotten a script for 30, only 3 times. It makes me feel like I'm a junkie or something, but I feel they are better than taking 8-10 advil and Tylenol every day.
remember to look up the organizations....and also make sure that if you try and find a NM dentist, they also need to be a Functional Jaw ORthodontist. Also, you should get the book by Clair Davies about trigger point therapy, and how to self treat. Your muscles need to be worked on....I know that it's painful, but the more they are worked on...the more they will relax. His book is called "The Trigger point therapy workbook."...by clair Davies. Also, you may want to get your Ferritin, (iron) and Vit D. 25 Hydroxy levels checked to make sure that you are not deficient in these.....If you are low in just one of those, it can cause major muscular dysfunction. Also, make sure that the specialist has done tmjd treatments for at least 10rys. or longer. They need to have a lot of experience...there is too much at stake.
Were you suffering the muscular pain before the arthrocentesis procedure or only after it was done? I am also considering getting artrhrocentesis done (I have a closed jaw lock, can't open mouth for 2 years now more than 20mm). How are you going now & what treatment have you been doing that has helped?