Re: TMJ -Hospital appointment soon, please help!
I'm so sorry about your TMJ symptoms and the blow to the face. I also began having TMJ problems after I was assaulted, beaten about the back of the head. My attack happened in the early 1980's.
I'm glad that you're going to the maxillofacial unit at your local hospital. That is where I've gotten the most help.
The good news is.. the treatment for TMJ has come a long way since I started treatment almost 30 years ago. When I was first injured my doctor said that 95% of TMJ patients never need surgery. That's the good news, but he went on to say that out of those that need surgery 90% of the patients have suffered a traumatic injury.
In my experience, bite plates, splints, whatever you want to call them, have been very helpful. They align the teeth so that they're in the best position for the jaw. I've also found muscle relaxers to help a great deal.
When thinking about TMJ pain, there are two types of pain, and each type responds to different therapies. There's joint pain which occurs when the jaw is dislocated, or there are things wrong with the joint itself. Then there's the muscle pain. There are actually several TMJ muscles that are involved. This type of pain is what responds best to massage, muscle relaxers, soft diet, and relaxation techniques.
It sounds like you're off to a good start. I found it most helpful to keep a TMJ journal. I write down my symptoms, what they are, the date, what helps, what makes it worse. I also note all doctors, tests, treatments, and any other pertinent information. As part of this I keep a pain journal where I note the date, type of pain, intensity of pain from 0-10, again meds, or other treatments. I take the journal to all appointments. Years ago a doctor told me that being scientists, doctors rely on data. Keeping a journal, pain journal, TMJ journal, food journal, or whatever else you need is a great help in getting treatment.
The good news is... I had a bilateral total TMJ joint replacement surgery about a year and a half ago, and now I have no pain, I eat everything, work full time, and lead a full life. I'm not saying that you need surgery, I'm simply saying that if I got relief after 12-15 blows to the back of my head, and then 26 years of pain and other symptoms, I'm fully recovered.
Please keep us posted, and let me know what I can do for you.