Welcome to our (Dys)Functional Friday blog post! Last week we took a look into the temporomandibular joint. This week I would like to share some of my first hand experience with TMJ pain and provide you with some soft tissue release techniques that you can add to your self-care routine in addition to the exercises from last weeks blog. This particular joint has been problematic for me for over a decade now. I have always suffered from random migraines, even as a child, but didn’t think anything of it. I would experience optic migraines on occasion which would cause my fingers to start tingling, my vision would go blurry, and lastly my lips and face would start to go numb. About half an hour later I would be bed ridden, in complete darkness for 3 – 48 hours after the initial symptoms. I was an athlete, I was “heathy”. I became aware of a crackling noise in my ear as I swallowed when I was attending university which soon turned into tinnitus. The tension in my shoulders, neck and face increased as time moved on, migraines became more frequent, and now the pain in these areas causes me to feel as though my head is stuck in a vice most days, as if I have a sinus infection. The discomfort has radiated into the fascia of my scalp and I feel shooting nervy pain on the right side of my skull on occasion. The tension in my shoulders, neck, jaw, and face is the worst in the morning. I hate waking up this way. I hate feeling this way all day, every day.
So why have I been doing this for so long? Why have I been putting up with this pain? Why have I not paid attention to the nagging discomfort and taken the time to address it?
I am hoping in sharing my story that maybe you have been experiencing the same type of daily discomfort and are tired of just “dealing” with. I think we all have to realize that living with chronic pain is not ok. We have to try to prevent things from getting worse before they are irreparable, and we are debilitated. We take care of every other part of our body, but often forget about the face.
So I am on a mission to feel better. To save my face and possibly help you save yours!
I have been attempting to do the exercises provided in last weeks blog daily and would like to some more techniques to reduce the pain and stiffness in my jaw in the morning so I can feel better throughout the day.
Here is a quick video of a simple and quick addition to your TMJ self-care routine.
Next week we will look into more exercises and techniques used to reduce discomfort in the face and surrounding areas. Until next time!