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TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(

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Old 12-04-2012, 11:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: ontario canada
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april1986 HB User
Unhappy TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(


I just joined this forum after reading a few posts. I have had TMJ for almost 16 years and these past 3 months have been the worst yet. I have tried everything minus taking medications that are not for tmj such as antidepressants.. arthritis meds.. siezure meds.. I am scared of taking things that I dont need to be taking and worry about side effects ect. I have had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled out at age 17 (5 years into tmj), have had mouth guards, physiotherepy, been to specialists all over the place, done the at home exercises.... ect. I am at my wits end with this tmj business. Im unsure of what to do next. It looks like I may have to succomb to the possibility of being disabled because I cannot attend work as my tmj results in severe migraines the pain is unbearable.. I cannot drive, talk, eat or basically anything when the pain is severe. Pretty much bed ridden

I would appreciate any advise I can get at this point. I just dont know what to do. I often thinkI would rather not live then live like this. But I truly do love life.. just not when Im in so much pain.


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Old 12-05-2012, 08:02 PM   #2
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mmisty HB Usermmisty HB Usermmisty HB Usermmisty HB Usermmisty HB Usermmisty HB User
Re: TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(

Hi April, very sorry about your pain. I suffered with migraines for 5 years. My quality of life was effected. Everyday I hoped that I wouldn't get one. Hated waking up with one. Topamax (seizure med) was recommened. I have never had a seizure but I tried because the pain was horrible. The med worked and finally the migraines stopped. Have a open mind about trying new meds. You will be taking them under a doctors supervision. Could it be any worse?

Old 12-06-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
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april1986 HB User
Smile Re: TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(

Thank you for your reply... it means alot I understand that I should likely cave and just give some things a try... just nervous of side effects and such as I have suffered from severe anxiety attacks in the past and now that I have been anxiety/panic attack free... I dont ever want to experience that again. As horrible as tmj is and extremely hard to live with... I wouldnt trade it for that awfulness I just started taking a magnesium liquid.. and so far I have been pain free... the first day in six days of ongoing severe migraines and tmj pain. Am hoping for the best and trying to stay positive in thinking that just maybe this is my answer. Also, I have my first appt for shiatsu this upcoming friday... have heard it works miracles... which is exactly what I need... a miracle. Thank you for your help and if these two things fail as well... I shall keep your advice in mind. As you are most certainly correct... it cant get any worse.

Thanks again.

Old 12-25-2012, 05:34 PM   #4
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GratefulJaney HB User
Re: TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(

Hi April-

I haven’t read this board in half a year, and now that I have something to offer, Christmas feels like the right time to come back here. I had my TMJ problems for over 18 years before I found a solution. I had one very painful and debilitating symptom (migraines), and one less debilitating symptom (sore and tight jaw muscles). At the best of times, I’d get maybe two migraines per month. At the worst of times, I got two per week, and each would last a couple of days. The migraines often took away my ability to enjoy life, my ability to work, and in recent years, my ability to be the mother I wanted to be for my young son. I tried two mouth guards from a TMJ specialist and one from a neuromuscular dentist. For me the mouth guards made little or no difference. I had many chiropractic treatments as well, which sometimes brought partial relief, but no major relief. In recent years the migraines were sometimes so bad I thought of ending it all, but I couldn’t leave my son without a mom.

About a year ago a friend recommended I try a SleepGuard biofeedback headband to train myself out of clenching my teeth in my sleep. I am usually challenged by technical gadgets to begin with, and I had lost all hope that anything would work, so I put off trying it for many months. Then one week I had a cold and noticed that when my nose was stuffed up and I was probably clenching less at night because I was breathing through my mouth, I had only one migraine, and my jaw was not as sore. So I decided to give the SleepGuard headband a try.

I followed the instructions to the letter and used it for the first three days without the biofeedback, to measure how bad a clencher I was. It turned out I was clenching about 250 seconds per night, and I called the company to find out if that was a big number. To my surprise, I got to talk to the guy who designed the thing, and he told me I was in the top 5% of the worst clenchers. That wasn’t a contest I wanted to win, and I was scared I would never be able to get that to a “low” number, but he reassured me that if I made friends with the gadget and heard the biofeedback sound as a gentle loving reminder to relax, I would do fine. I did that, and it was amazing the difference it made. Within a week I had learned to respond to the sound in my sleep, and my migraines and jaw soreness were gone within a month. My clenching is now less than 10 seconds per night. These days I actually expect to feel good and rested when I wake up. A year ago that seemed impossible. It is still amazing to me that all that pain and suffering for all those years came from just having a habit of clenching my teeth in my sleep.

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Old 12-25-2012, 10:47 PM   #5
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april1986 HB User
Post Re: TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(

Thank you all so very much for the info and updates. As it stands now.. I have had one bad migraine and one very mild migraine in 3 and a half weeks... almost a month. This is definitely a miracle and am loving every minute of it. Turns out I had a knot in my left shoulder the size of most peoples palm... and my shiatsu therapist assumes it had been there for years. After having it and the rest of my body worked on once a week for an hour... and faithfully taking one ounce of magnesium ionic liquid per day... I am starting to wonder if my tmj problems actually caused my migraines. My Shiatsu therapist told me that because of this knot my jaw has been compensating in my sleep and is likely why i have been so badly clenching and or grinding my teeth for years. Funny thing is any pain that I have ever had due to "tmj" has always been restricted to the left side of my head.. face... neck.. teeth... sinuses ect. But has never gone any lower than my shoulder. Whether this is the case or not.. it seems to be right on the money and providing extreme relief. I would recommend that all suffers look deeper into this issue as.. maybe.. your jaw isnt the underlying issue. Thanks again to everyone... and I will forsure keep you all posted. May you all have relief and be painfree someday really soon. After almost 16 years I had almost given up hope... now my hope and faith are renewed and Ican live my life the way I should have been able to all these years endless smiles

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Old 12-26-2012, 02:08 PM   #6
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Re: TMJ pain worse now then ever.. has been almost 16 years :(


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