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Splint adjustment questions....need opinions please.

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Old 08-11-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
Jill 227
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Unhappy Splint adjustment questions....need opinions please.

Hey all you lovely people---can anyone give insight into why or if I should be having major muscular spasms in my face, neck and shoulders After my first adjustment on my repositional splint. This is day 9 since the adjustment and I'm in horrible pain, particularly muscular, and my teeth are really sore as well. Keep in mind too I've been in the wrong jaw position for almost 20yrs, so I'm pretty screwed up to begin with. I also am experiencing this weird pop again on the right since the adjustment like cartilige is popping out and back..I did have this before the adjustment, but it was pretty minor. Some of the height on it was taken down, but not much. When should I start questioning these horrendous spasms, given my history? BTW--my face before treatment is totally assymetrical---I'm a mess. Any input would be appreciated........

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Old 08-11-2009, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Splint adjustment questions....need opinions please.


I'm no expert but I think it is pretty normal to have muscle spasms/pain following an adjustment. If your muscles have been in one position for 20 years, it is going to painful when they are moved even if it is to the right position. An analogy my dentist used was if you had worn high heels constantly for 20 years (if you are a man use your imagination! ;-)) and then suddenly put on some comfy flat shoes, your leg muscles would be in agony for a long time, even though the new comfy shoes were better for you. I had my splint fitted 2 weeks ago and have suffered from a lot of pain/spasms etc, although it is getting better.

For encouragement I found some posts by someone called Marlene who had successful splint therapy and said that she suffered muscle pain/spasm for the first few weeks after every adjustment.

However, I'm not sure that you having an assymetrical face sounds right. Would it be worth going to a cranial osteopath for their opinion? I go to one and she said that my head is now symmetrical for the first time.

My right jaw has also started popping/clicking but I am also taking that as a good sign as it used to grate. Popping is better than grating as it means the disc is partially catching in the joint whereas grating means it isn't catching at all and bone is rubbing on bone.

Sorry I can't be of more help!


Last edited by canal19; 08-11-2009 at 11:58 AM.

Old 08-11-2009, 01:39 PM   #3
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Re: Splint adjustment questions....need opinions please.

Not that I'm cured, or even officially finished with Phase 1...

I believe my TMJ specialist told me that I should expect pain after an adjustment (especially the first few), but that I should experience noticeable improvement by Day 5, or schedule another appt. asap. I had pain on my first adjustment that was horrible right to that Day 5, and then it started waning, but probably lasted for at least 14 days. I'd say if your Day 9 is just as bad or worse than Day 1 then you should probably call your doctor. If you think it's a little better, try to hang on for a little longer. Your jaw isn't used to all this yet.

For me, each adjustment afterward was less painful and took less "recovery time" than the previous, so maybe that's something to look forward to. (crosses fingers)

Old 08-11-2009, 03:16 PM   #4
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Re: Splint adjustment questions....need opinions please.

I got a very good initial response to my appliance. I though the guy cured me basically and was getting ready to go back to the gym and start swimming again. However positive responses wound down and I felt I was back to square one.

I think it was Kirkegaard who said we only understand life in retrospect. I can see now that my appliance was able to solve the knock-on problems but wasn't able to deal with the cause which was/is a displaced TMJ disc. The guy treating me looked at my MRI scans and because of the direction the disc had displaced in, to the inside, gave me an only 15% chance of 'recapturing' the disc. Months of appliance therapy didn't manage to get the disc back in position so I am scheduled for surgery next month.

If the disc is anteriorly displaced, which is the most common, appliance therapy is something like 70% sucessfull.

Old 08-12-2009, 07:02 AM   #5
Jill 227
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Re: Splint adjustment questions....need opinions please.

Thanks for all your advice guys! I told my husband last night that I'm not so concerned with the spasms as I am of the worsening of the weird pop on the right. It's not a "clean" sounding pop like you get when your knee pops or something. It's like a sloughing sound, (if that's even the correct sp.)---I have it when I'm laying down upon getting up from bed, and if the spasms are really intense in my face, I'll get them during the day maybe when I'm bending over doing laundry or something, or chewing food. When the vertical dimension is higher, it gets better. Ever since his adjustment 10 days ago it has gotten a little worse, and I don't want it to progress even further. My doctor believes from the tomos he took and all the other joint x-rays and such that my discs are too far gone to be recaptured, especially on the left, it's a mess, but I keep telling him that I think I still have some sort of cushion on the right side, because I don't have the grating noises hardly at all on that side. I asked him if I should get an MRI, but he said that it wouldn't change his treatment, and he's repositioning my jaw anyways to give me more room in the joint, so it wouldn't matter. BUT---why is this popping getting worse???? I'm so frustrated...........

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