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best medication for TMJ pain - non drowsy

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Old 05-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
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jbuilder2 HB User
best medication for TMJ pain - non drowsy

I'm almost 6 weeks into a NM orthotic and only getting very small improvement. I thought I could tough it out, but it seems that i'm in this for at least 4-6 more months based on others experience and probably need something. My pain is muscle and nerve. I get some tightening in the face and some tingling down to the lips with some joint pain. (also some eye and ear pain and finger tingling) i'm NOT a clencher. I was given muscle relaxers but they make me too drowsy. OTC stuff like tylenol, advil and motrin don't see to do much and upset my stomach.

I've heard some people take neurontin, some said it made it worse? Any experience? does it make you drowsy?

I've also heard about antidepressents but it can take weeks to take affect and make you clench. Do these make you drowsy? Are there other side affects? What kind of patient benefits from these?

I'm actually okay in the evenings(moist heat, tens) and sleeping. I need something I can take morning and still work. I cannot be drowsy all day, I need to be focused. I know some meds you can't take randomly you need to be all or nothing. I would prefer just weekdays. I can survive the weekends. Any suggestions?

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Old 05-08-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 58
judye HB Userjudye HB Userjudye HB Userjudye HB Userjudye HB User
Re: best medication for TMJ pain - non drowsy

Hi there,

I can remember how severe orthotic pain was for me...I really feel for you. Do everything you can to make life easier and try to remember there is a shelf life to this period.

Nothing would dent my orthotic pain (and I tried almost EVERYTHING) except for oxycodone. I was very careful with it and could use less by taking it with caffeine. I find caffeine makes pain killers like (AC&C) more efficient while decreasing drowsiness.

Buying a TMJ tens machine helped decrease muscle tension, pain and I didn't have to use as many pain killers. It cost a pretty penny but my medical plan covered quite a bit of it. Your NM dentist may have one you can try out, take home for the weekend and see if you like it before investing.

Attending to my postural issues (getting straightened out by my TMJ chiro) and then staying straight was important to staying out of pain for me. I also had to get my atlas adjusted (caused weeks of dizziness) but I think for some severe TMJ cases this is a necessary step (if indeed your atlas is really twisted up).

Neurontin is supposed to be highly effective for neuropathic pain. I used to work with folks with MS and they found it worked very well, although some experienced side effects.

The best thing I've found to deal with pain (and I sooo wish I had this during my orthotic period) is MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction). It's a course or you can read the book "Full Catastrophe Living" (audio or physical) by Jon Kabat-Zinn. He created a program for people dealing with pain that were not getting the help they needed from the medical system. This is an invaluable tool to deal with pain and the anxiety that comes from living with it.

Wish you the best in your recovery...Hang in there!


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