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TMJ and more frequent headaches

TMJ and more frequent headaches

by lauren ms -
Number of replies: 6

I’ve been sort of reading through topics on these forums but never made an account. I’m needing some encouragement regarding tmj and some headaches that are becoming more frequent. I really trust Schubiner’s advice about handling the fear around pain so I feel like this community is pretty positive in how it approaches pain. Anyway, my jaw has been “stuck” on one side for MONTHS now. I’ve always had a clicky/poppy jaw. I decided to treat it like TMS and slowly over the last two months, some pretty constant headaches began. They will go away briefly and then come back. (Ive been checked out by my doctor and it’s supposedly just tension. And I clench the crap out of my jaw at night). Any encouragement for this would mean so much! I’ve recovered from other symptoms but headaches make me more fearful than most other pains. 

In reply to lauren ms

Re: TMJ and more frequent headaches

by Howard Schubiner -

Thanks for writing, Lauren.

Of course, the danger signal in your brain will choose some area of the body and some symptom that scares you. That is its best ticket to alert you. 

So, please don't be fooled! This is obviously TMS! There can be no doubt given what your doctor says and the fact that headaches and TMJ are two of the most common TMS symptoms.

My advice is to start with self-compassion; soothe your self and your brain in relation to these symptoms and to your life in general. Write about any stressful situations and try to let them go.

Gradually train your brain to accept and not care about the popping, the pain and the stuckness of your jaw. They will get better as your danger signal relaxes. 

Does this help?

Best, Howard


In reply to Howard Schubiner

Re: TMJ and more frequent headaches

by Avi Weisman -

I am a somewhat contributor on this platform (usually post about my own symptoms/fears when I have an occurrence of TMS symptoms, as I do right now). However, on this post I will try to provide you with some words of encouragement.  I second Dr. Schubiner's comments.  Although my pain symptoms are usually back or neck (I am currently having neck/trap pain, as a friend of mine snuck behind me and grabbed me quite hard and forceful with both hands on my neck/trapezius area last night), I did go through TMJ symptoms in my upper jaw/temple area1 year ago.  It lasted almost 2 months.  I went to my Doctor who ordered jaw x-rays (which came back normal), I went to my dentist (who said it was TMJ and there was not much I can do, other than get a mouthguard for sleeping, which I did not).  Then I read about the common TMJ symptoms associated with TMS.  It suddenly made all the sense in the world.  I tried to let go of the fear, and understand that the pain is temporary and not structural.  It worked.  The TMJ symptoms that lasted almost 2 months and did not allow me to eat things that were hard or crispy (like potato chips) subsided almost immediately.  

Try not to be scared and try to continue to tell yourself and your brain that this is a symptom of TMS, and there is nothing to fear.  I have a feeling you will see positive results.

Now if only I can continue to practice what I preach, I may have some success with this current neck pain/stiffness.........

In reply to Avi Weisman

Re: TMJ and more frequent headaches

by lauren ms -

Avi: I'm also only on this platform when I have a flare up! And I only recently made an account. TMS sometimes can be accompanied with an intense need for reassurance for me. I'm having some Xrays done just to double check but I've had this "stuckness" since Feb without headaches and pain. That started within the last month. I know my thought that this is structural is causing it to linger.

I've had pain in a lot of places and had great success with TMS treatment. It's so much easier to help others sometimes but our own symptoms can seem scary!

I have some neck tension with my headaches and TMJ mess so I sympathize. I keep telling myself bodies want to heal so if it's persistent, it's probably just more TMS. Which I have an easier time seeing in hindsight than when the flare up is happening.


thanks for sharing your story!

In reply to Howard Schubiner

Re: TMJ and more frequent headaches

by lauren ms -

Dr Schubiner: Yes! I think the limited opening of my jaw is what's throwing me off a bit. But I know people have had similar situations occur without pain. 

I also know the headaches scare me. And the fact that most doctors I've seen are confused my TMJ. So there are a lot of reasons for the pain to linger. The pain also completely goes away when I lay down and rest which has happened with other TMS symptoms for me. 

Thanks for all your help. And for this forum :)


-L

In reply to lauren ms

Re: TMJ and more frequent headaches

by lauren ms -

Calmed down as expected! It hung around for so long. Thanks for this platform :) 

In reply to lauren ms

Re: TMJ and more frequent headaches

by Greg Shaw -

Hi,

I am new to this site but definitely not new to TMS. I have been amazed over the last 8 plus months how so much of my suffering has been a result of TMS. However, just like many others that are aware of TMS it is often challenging to accept when it is a symptom we're suffering on our own.

I don't know about others but where I struggle the most is when something either bothers me to the point it is controlling my life or it could be related to a serious health condition. ie, headaches in this case

Within the last week I have been dealing with a very severe sharp pain in the right side of my head. This will usually last a matter of seconds. The first time was a few days ago and the second time just recently. In between these days I have experience mild head pain(like headaches) that at times could be other areas of my head.

I am someone who walks like 2 plus hours a day with a knapsack on my back, and at times could have 30 plus pounds in my knapsack.  I want to believe this is TMS maybe started by the pressure of the straps of my knapsack on my neck. Then the more I have focused on it the worse it is bothering me.

Does this sound reasonable?

I can say my neck a times feels tight but when I am doing something I enjoy then all or most symptoms are not present.

Is it possible events I am mentioning could be creating this really sharp pain in my right temple area?

Thank you.