Re: What is/was your main TMJ symptom?
I am adding to what my symptoms where and what I discovered, my main issue was jaw clicking and popping on the left side. I also had an issue with lock jaw and misalignment, although I had little ear discomfort it was more of a sensation of water being in my ear. This only was noticeable the second time my TMJ came back. I also had an issue with tense jaw muscles and scalp/temple tension.
I also suffer from tension headaches and this is something I have had since my early twenties. I do get them now and then but since I have had TMJ my preventative treatments means I know which symptoms to look out for and how to resolve it before it gets worse.
From all of the posters in this thread a lot of people have mentioned scalp tension and some neck problems with misalignment. The source of my problem has become apparent to me only after started reading and participating in this forum and thanks to something MountainReader mentioned.
About 18 months ago I injured my right shoulder training in the gym. I was doing some chest exercises and injured the shoulder, instead of my spotter grabbing the weight in time and due to it happening so quickly I dropped the weight on the right side and tilted over the bench still holding the weight in my left hand.
I somehow injured the shoulder muscles in the front and the rear of my shoulder and dislocated it slightly, this took about 2 years to finally get back to normal. What did happen subsequently is that the imbalance in strength in my shoulders started twisting my frame and building up tension in various areas of my body.
This tension worked its way into my neck and scalp and I ended up with TMJ. Symptoms as described, jaw clicking, muscle tension, jaw misalignment, scalp tension, sensitive teeth and lock jaw.
I was able to find ways of releasing tension using myofascial treatment on my jaw muscles, scalp and temples. I also did neck exercises, stretching and full body stretching. I was during this time also having issues with my middle back not releasing tension regardless of the stretching I was doing.
The only way I was able to get that resolved was using a foam roller and working on my legs, hips and back. This improved my flexibility, and helped release referred tension in various parts of my body which was causing my TMJ.
My shoulder is 98% good but I still am working on it, without my stretching and maintenance my TMJ will return but by keeping my muscle tension from getting worse I live a normal healthy life with no TMJ.