View Full Version : TMJ pain - need ideas to help it

10-20-15, 10:26 PM
I was diagnosed with having TMJ several years ago by my orthodontist, he told me that in the future there is not much that can be done for it and I will have lots of pain and headaches, if I didn't have that already. (Yes, he was so cheery :rolleyes:)

It hasn't bothered me at all, until now.

Started maybe three weeks ago, pain on the right side of my jaw.

It feels like my jaw on that side is swollen, I can't eat anything but soft foods, and it is making sleeping more difficult than it already is.

When I chew, I can feel my jaw instead of going up and down, it goes side to side and feels like my jaw is protruding.(right side) I have to put a fist under my mouth to keep myself from opening my mouth wide when I yawn.

The pain sucks and I'm just feeling discouraged....I have enough health issues as it is I don't need another one.

Anyway, I have heard lifting weights can worsen the condition, but I am really getting into weight lifting and I will be very disappointed if I have to stop. I currently take ibuprofen to help with the pain (I take it every day anyway for my body pain/joint pain/daily headache)

Should I take a break from weight lifting?

Are there other things I can do? I remember my orthodontist instructing me to ice it for 2 hours a day (which I didn't do of course) but now going to ice it because I just don't know what to do...

Am I supposed to be sleeping a certain way?

I know surgery can't really help it, that's what my orthodontist told me, and I wouldn't want surgery anyway.

Does TMJ have "flare ups" or will I always feel this much pain?

Any tips to manage the pain??

10-21-15, 02:32 AM
First things that popped into my mind was a mouth guard. I dont mean the expensive molded for you one, I mean the silicone one from the store, I even got one from the dollar store. Its meant to help with teeth grinding but it also helps my jaw pain. I also know that even if you have perfect form lifting weights, sometimes you can clench your jaw or strain it enough with exertion that you can actually have jaw pain. You might not think you are but you could be, and maybe its exacerbating your already existing issue?

10-21-15, 03:57 AM
Thank you Sarah!

I do wear retainers at night, but maybe I can try a mouth guard some nights.

I never thought about the jaw clenching while lifting, makes sense. I was wondering what about weight lifting can actually cause the pain. (I had only read a brief article once about how weight lifting can hurt those with TMJ, but I couldn't figure out how)

10-21-15, 11:43 AM
I've had TMJ pain twice and don't remember it feeling like my face was swollen.
The TMJ nerves go up by the eyebrow, across the cheek to the nose, and curve
just below the corner of the mouth. So painful, even a slight breeze against my
cheek on that side caused burning pain.

The first time my doctor gave me pain meds. It took about a month for the pain
to subside. That was nearly 30 years ago following dental work.

This last time also followed dental work and the doctor said I probably had an
infection in my sinuses so she gave me an antibiotic. That helped for a month
and then the pain returned. What I finally found helpful was caspacin ointment.

If that hadn't helped the doctor was going to give me a script for gabapentin.