Tightness in Jaw,...back of neck too

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tandy, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. tandy

    tandy New Member

    Hi guys/gals~
    Just sitting here half crying cause of a new pain thats been popping up on me.
    For about the last few months,..every so often when my neck aches act up,..I feel alot of jaw pain and stiffness too~ I can feel or it seems to be connected to my neck.??? cause when I turn my head,... or open my jaw wide,it eases for a second!!
    Yea,..a second. Thats about it.

    Does anyone else get this??
    and ,..silly question: does anything help this??
    meds or heat,bath,..muscle relaxers??

    Its kinda driving me nuts! NOT another Fibro symptom!!!
    I already have about 45-50 of em!
    Thanks for any help :)
  2. lenaw70

    lenaw70 New Member

    Yep, it sounds like TMJ but what causes mine is teeth grining while I sleep.

    Have your dentist check that out.

    Also just could be a pressure point being NAUGHTY! I guess pressure points can be triggered in one place but effect another place.

    Hope you feel better and keep us posted,

  3. MerrimackRiver

    MerrimackRiver New Member

    Tandy - I also have this problem and have had it for at least a year. I've had it checked by my dentist and says I definitely do not have TMJ. But it acts like it. It is, I believe, another naughty trigger point but I won't tell you!!

    My husband found some good info. on the web on TMJ. It explained how you can massage it from inside your month with your thumb and it works. And I put up with this for months!!!

    I have found though that you can't chew anything hard, tough crusts, meat, etc. It just aggrevates it. There are times when I have to take a sandwich apart as I cannot open my mouth that wide. My jaw "crunches" and the sound sounds terrible in my head. Whe it gets really bad I feel like my teeth are decayed and need to be extracted. I've found that I just have to cater to it and I do pretty well.

    But the neck, back of my head and shoulder has been a problem for me for many years.

    Why don't you pick up "Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain" a survival manual, second edition by Devin Starlanyl and Mary Ellen Copeland. I bought the first edition years ago and it has been my bible.

    I hope this is helpful but I hope this is not it!!!!!!

    Warm hugs, Merri

  4. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Well-Known Member

    Mine started about l5 years ago when a dental assistant glued my jaws shut while attempting to take an impression for a crown. The dentist put his knee on my chest and pulled. I heard a pop but the pain didn't start until about 4 months later. I endured excruciating pain in my head for a few weeks. It would be terrible then disappear and then come back again. Under my jaw, in the back of my head, on top of my head.....I thought I had a brain tumor.

    After checking with xrays at an emergency dentist, I went to a ear, nose throat specialist. Xrays showed a dislocated jaw. He said no chewing for a week and lots of moist hot compresses to allow the jaw to slide back into place. I still have that pain off and on, even this week. It took months to go away. Also, absolutely no more gum chewing if you do that. I was told you can dislocate your jaw just by trying to take too large of a bite of a hamburger.
  5. sydneysider

    sydneysider Member

    I have suffered with jaw pain and headaches for 25 years, after having braces on my teeth. I was diagnosed originally
    with TMJ, but was recently diagnosed with a damaged disk in my neck, which I now realise I have had since childhood. Also osteophytes in my neck.

    What works best for me is to take some paracetamol, and place a very hot water bottle over the painful area. Often pain in these areas is caused when the body thinks something is out of wack, and tries to splint the area by tightening up the muscles.Keeping the muscles as loose as possible may be helpful.

    Also,if you have neck problems, certain movements may tigger the pains. My neurologist only found my neck problem when I was given an exercise to help a dizziness problem. This exercise involved leaning to one side, and then the other. Every time I did this awould get a headache. When I told him this, he ordered a cervical MRI staight away.

    Muscle relaxants may also be helpful, but personally I use such drugs very rarely, as my body will build up a tolerance very quickly, and then they don't work at all. I also find eating something slightly crunchy can ease the pain to a degree. Apple slices would be a healthy choice. Crisps,or crackers are examples of a less healthy choice.

    Hope you find something to ease the pain soon.
  6. Hoops

    Hoops New Member

    and I know the pain you're all talking about. Only a mouthguard gave me any relief and I still wear it at night. It cost a lot and was specially made by an orthodontist but it's been a Godsend and worth every penny. Hoops
  7. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Dear Tandy,
    I have that, and my chiropractor has helped me a lot.,

    When I lived in San Jose, my chiroprctor used Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy and a kind of "traction". She got rid of my TMJ and the pain in my neck went away temporarily. It comes back because I sleep sitting up,and my head settles incorrectly.

    Now that I am in the mountains, I have found another chiropractor, who has helped me with the neck pain.

    Good luck. I hope you can get some relief. It is a terrible place to have pain.

  8. razorqueen

    razorqueen Member

    especially on my right side. I use heat, Biofreeze, I massage it inside my mouth (more like stetch it, hurts like a bugger), and massage on the side of my face, under my chin, those muscles get very tight too, and then the front of my neck too. What a pain. Of course I have the neck, headache and upper back pain too. The joys, eh?
  9. Des2nee

    Des2nee New Member

    I was diagnosed with TMJ in high school. Its been really acting up the past few months. Ive also begun TP injections in the upper back. I cannot get up the nerve to have them at the base of my skull but Im getting desperate so I think next week Ill have him do that area too. I have to tell you that my headaches have been greatly relieved by the TP injections. But not the neck/jaw/upper back pain.

    What does help is Lidoderm patches. Havent tried them on my temporal area yet. I may just begin making my own fashion statement around here. (my son will love me for it! :D )

    My jaw will ache so bad sometimes that I find myself clenching my teeth. the only relief I have found is to go brush my teeth for a little bit. It works until I start to clench again...so no, I havent found the magical cure yet.
  10. tandy

    tandy New Member

    I'll search TMJ.
    I suspected it when it first started happening. But a dentist said "he doubts it".
    well,..I don't now! cause everyone of you's mentioned it as sounding like TMJ.
    will look into the symptoms and yell back with any questions~
    I apreciate all your replys and suggestions :)

    I bet it is causing alot of my headaches too.

    Hugs to you all
  11. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    I've been grinding my teeth for years. I've been wearing a tooth guard at night for several years now. Before I got the guard, I would have pain in my jaw and ears. Maybe we grind our teeth because of being in pain so much?

    My neck and shoulders are stiff and achy most of the time now. I've been going to physical therapy for several weeks and they have been showing me different exercises which has helped some. I put on a Thermapack this morning since this area is really achy today. At night I go to bed with ice packs.

  12. tandy

    tandy New Member

    this place is busy today!!

    Hi Ellen :)

    and for Asatrump~
    gee,...yes I do take ultram.
    ya got me wondering now.

    I'm not to fond of the ultams anyway. I don't get much relief with them, not to mention the make me feel wired!
    I know alot of us here love the med. but for me personally it has'nt been that great~
    I guess I need something stronger.

    Thanks for helping out :)
  13. orachel

    orachel New Member

    I'm sooo with you. My tmj (not diagnosed, but I know that's what it is) is the source of so much of my pain. I know that's because rest of my pain is so bad, and I'm not being managed properly for my level of pain, that I end up gritting my teeth (not really rubbing teeth back and forth, but clenching my jaw like mad!). And I also have terrible Bruxism when I sleep, which doesn't help at all.

    This'll sound bizarre, but I swear it helps! Nothing better than a cold coke (ice pack is waaay too cold for my face!!) held against it. I also make a concerted effort to relax my jaw when I feel it clenched, but I'm sure 90% of the time I don't realize I'm doing it...

    Really, AS IF we really needed problems out of ANOTHER body part! LOL I'm taking muscle relaxers like crazy...think I'm on 12 mgs of zanaflex right now! Doesn't help.

    Another thing I've found is a bath recipe...there's tons of them on here...but what works for me is 2 entire bottles of hydrogen peroxide, and about 3/4 to a cup of epsom salts in very very warm water. I also add in a healthy dollup of Dr. Bronners magic soap in Lavender scent...very relaxing. And also, I've found it often helps (especiallly with winter cold!) to make the water way to hot to stand, then let it set for a while to warm up the porcelain...otherwise, I end up so sore from sitting on the cold porcelain its sort of pointless.

    And whatever you do...make sure to invest the dollar or 2 in a bath pillow. Miraculous invention! This bath really does totally relax me. Quite frankly, between the jaw (which honestly throbbs so deeply and aches so badly I'd glady rip it off my face if I could!) and my hips, neck shoulders, knees...then the really weird pains like elbow and forearm...there is no way I'd be able to wash my own hair without soaking in this bath for a while first. It does relieve pain (wild, but true!) and makes me very relaxed, which helps with the jaw and everything else!

    Good luck!

    Oh, also, my sleep study doc just told me that a mouth guard is a good idea when I sleep to protect my teeth. Won't stop the clenching, but at least teeth won't be harmed. He said no reason to buy $100 snazzy medical mouth guard...go to the nearest sporting goods store and buy a football mouth guard that can be boiled to mold to your teeth....1/10 the cost!

  14. orachel

    orachel New Member

    Devin Starlanyl (md who's written many books about her own experiences with FM and MPS...she's just amazing!) says that JAW, NECK, SHOULDER pain is a result from trigger points in sternocledomastoid muscles in neck/shoulder area....these trigger points are from Myofascial Pain Syndrom...not the FM according to her. Fascinating stuff...if you haven't read her work, do!
  15. orachel

    orachel New Member

    I'm still on the max, 400mgs daily, but get 0 relief, so why traumatize my liver needlessly! Darvocet doesn't do a whole lot better...I think we need to break out the big guns on my pain control, as I'm usually 8 or 9 on darvocet and ultram. Had NO idea ultram might be the culprit with jaw pain! Never read that before!

    But, according to Starlanyl again....you can get rid of these triggerpoints that cause this completely (though they can come back if you're stressed or don't make the lifestyle changes to keep them vamoosed!) if you first get your pain levels under control (i'm convinced so much of my pain is as a result of my PAIN in other areas! Ie: Pain in hips so bad I grit my teeth, which then developes TP in sternocleidomastoids...and so on...) and then begin major courses of bodywork...things like massage and acupuncture to work out the trigger points....you can actually get rid of them completely, though...

    That's the only reason I keep fighting this DD! I know its possible to feel BETTER. And I know that the way I feel now is not as good as it gets for me!

  16. tandy

    tandy New Member

    what a jem of a LONG reply!!lol
    I apreciate it alot! it shows you took time to answer me in full~ and I know how tiring that can be!! so thank you~
    Ya know what?? I do have that book you mentioned about trigger points. I bought it,.... browsed thru it just to get a peek,and never even read it! how pathetic.

    The tightness and jaw pain is worse right now.
    Its down right maddning!!
    I've caught myself clenching my teeth or jaw.
    When I catch myself,..I can make myself relax it more.
    But your so right,..alot of times I don't even realize I'm doing it.
    I'm fixin myself a hot bath right now,.....
    and taking my chintzy pain meds/muscle relaxers after.
    Hopefully I can get to sleep tonight.
    I'd go to the docs but they don't do anything for half my complaints anyways so why bother?
    Thanks for all your suggestions,..and I'll get to that book some day~
    :) Hugs
  17. orachel

    orachel New Member

    You're so incredibly right about chintzy pain meds! Yowza...ready to crawl out of my skin with the pain, every single hour of every single day.

    Docs I see are almost no help whatsoever, but see a new doc on Friday, so I'm praying!

    Not getting to book isn't pathetic...when my pain and fog are bad I can barely see to read...let alone comprehend! When that's going on, I reread an old favorite novel that I know and love...

  18. tandy

    tandy New Member

    if you should see this.....

    Wishing you loads of Luck with the new dr.
    and PAIN relief!!!

    I'm right with ya girl~
    5 docs later and not one taking my level of pain seriously. I'll keep searching,... but I'm sure feeling desperate lately :)

    let us know the good news, K?
  19. orachel

    orachel New Member

    I need all the help I can get!

    Feeling hopeful about this guy though....he was referred to me kind of sneaky like by my Phd In pain management who I see for therapy and non medical pain management. She got fed up with docs doing nothing, and arranged for me to see this guy, who normally only handles workmans comp cases, and isn't in my network of insurance at HER office! SO I can see dr hill and have it billed through my phd! Isn't that great!

    2 suggestions for you...don't know if you've looked into this...but have you tried to get into a pain management clinic? That's what they do! I need a referral to get into the only one in our area (they need it, not my insurance carrier), or I'd have been there long ago. Have you tried that? They are schooled in recognizing true pain behavior, and treat people with many different ailments...so they don't have the "i don't believe in pain meds for FM" attitude. Sheesh. Are all cancer patients alike? NO! Neither are we! Some of us are fine on ultram, some need only asprin...and some need methadone and percoset! Yep...we're all individuals. Docs are just idjits! LOL'

    And also...there's a deep breathing technique that stormy taught me...hyperoxygenates your blood, good for a bit of relief from all pain. Plus has added benefit of really calming you down...more I relax, more muscles relax. Sometimes that makes a big help in pain, and sometimes not.

    Make sure you're counting seconds, though..and not just counting or you won't be doing deep enough breathing. And only do this for 5 minutes or so at a time, or you do get a bit lightheaded! LOL Great before bed, or whenever you're overwrought. I often hurt so bad it causes almost like a panting breathing...awful. This is a great alternative to that! LOL

    Breathe deep in through your nose for 4 seconds
    Hold breath for 7 seconds
    Breathe out through TIGHTLY pursed lips for 8 seconds (you'll figure out soon how much air needs to go out per second. When you're on the 8th second, you should be out of air...)

    Happy Breathing!
  20. orachel

    orachel New Member

    I just read that book, and somehow still missed it!

    FM and chronic myofascial pain syndrome, I think its called