It’s an unfortunate reality that fibromyalgia and TMJ pain often go hand-in-hand.
What’s the Link?
It’s estimated that about 90% of people living with fibromyalgia experience some type of jaw or facial pain. However, that doesn’t mean that all of those will have a TMJ disorder.
Some people assume that you have to experience a complete jaw lock before you’re diagnosed with TMJ disorders, but that isn’t the case. The presence of other related symptoms when all other potential causes have been ruled out is enough for the diagnosis in some cases.
TMJ disorders and the associated facial/ jaw pain can be an extension of fibromyalgia when a diagnosis for fibromyalgia is already in place. Whether you receive both diagnoses or not, the combination of these conditions is often debilitating.
When the pain stops you from sleeping comfortably, limits range of motion for your head, and affects proper chewing, this can affect your quality of life.
How to Tell if You Have a TMJ Disorder
If you suffer from a TMJ disorder, your jaw may cause agonizing pain as well as a list of other symptoms, including:
- Difficulty chewing
- Difficulty opening/closing your mouth
The pain of TMJ can extend to all areas of your face, neck, and head as well. The muscles, ligaments, and nerves that keep your jaw moving are also responsible for functioning and sensation to all connected body parts. This is why many fibromyalgia patients report tenderness and pain in areas beyond the jaw.
One area just below the jaw (into the front neck area) that can greatly correlate with fibromyalgia is the sternocleidomastoid (trigger point area) So it could happen that your TMJ disorder symptoms exacerbate points in the surrounding areas leading to that radiating and referring pain you might feel.
Treatment for TMJ Disorders
If you suffer from fibromyalgia and believe you may have a TMJ disorder as well, treatment is necessary for relief. I recommend combating the condition with anti-inflammatory techniques such as gentle massage and stretching exercises, and perhaps heat-and-ice therapy.
Here at Pasadena Pain Management, we’re able to use methods and state-of-the-art technology to pinpoint the origin of a patient’s TMJ disorder. To gain an accurate diagnosis, I determine the proper posture of the jaw will measure different aspects of the teeth and jaw, and map the movement of the jaw out during eating and speaking. A diagnosis given and once the source of the pain has been found, we will create a treatment program that addresses each patient’s specific needs.
Are you in pain? Give Pasadena Pain Management a call today to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment for TMJ/TMD, migraine, headaches and neck pain in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta® treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.