I was diagnosed with Temporo Mandibular Joint syndrome (TMJ) some years ago. This was following a tranche of “opinions”. I initially saw my GP complaining of earache radiating to my jaw- no ear issues and suggested trigeminal neuralgia and taking carbamazepine which has significant side effects and takes a while to work. I saw my dentist who (following x-rays) could find no dentistry issues. I finally went to a (private) consultant who diagnosed TMJ. There was no treatment and after taking strong analgesia, wearing a mouth guard and doing some exercises it took a few months to settle down. The impact of the completely debilitating pain was shocking: unable to eat, sleep was interrupted, not to mention the impact on mood, horrendous is an understatement.
When I started with the early symptoms of TMJ in May I decided to take the bull by the horns. Conventional medicine had taken so long to work, what could I do? I work, have children and don’t have time to be so ill again. I am a sceptic of alternate therapies as I am a nurse but decided to give cranial osteopathy a go. Thank goodness for Caroline Penn who managed to fit me in. I walked away with slightly reduced pain, but by the next morning the pain was so much better and I could resort to conventional analgesia. The following day I only felt bruised and as the days went by my pain diminished to nil.
I firmly believe that “replacing” my face in the position it should have been has been critical in enabling me to take action as a patient when conventional medicine has failed. I will go back when the issue reoccurs and feel relieved and reassured that there something that can help me when I need it most.
- Dawn Osborn RGN, BSc/BA (Hons) -
Comment: The treatment was for muscles associated with the TMJ. A single case is no proof of efficacy but the patient’s report of rapid relief of symptoms after months of pain could suggest that osteopathy had some bearing on the case.
For clarification about dental issues: Even expertly delivered dental and orthodontic treatment can be demanding on the body. Problems in recuperation after dental treatment, such as aching in the muscles around the jaw joint (TMJ) can occur which could be relieved with osteopathic care.