Welcome to Tigersue's Jungle. Here you may find a Jungle of thoughts and idea's. You may never know what you will find!
Yes, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Headache relief

For many years I suffered from excruciating headaches, sometimes sinus, sometimes migraine and sometimes horrible tension headaches that felt like a migraine. I always just figured it was something I had to live with because my mother had them, but sisters have them, it must be a family thing. The sinus pain would feel like I had a sinus infection but there never was anything. To wash may face felt like I was pushing pins into my cheeks. Water would feel like it was boiling hot. The migraine headaches were always in the temple and I could hardly stand sound or light. The worst of the headaches were the tension headaches. They would start at the back of my neck, sometimes the shoulders and spread up behind my ears and then up to my forehead. Movement was intolerable, I would have flashes of light, and the pain would be so bad that I thought my head would snap off.

I tried my best to live with these headaches that occurred 3 to 4 times a week. Most of the time I could function, sometimes I would be incapacitated.

It wasn't until I attended a ward Christmas party when I started to have one of these tension headaches, that my dentist saw my suffering. He came up behind me to help relieve the tension. He put his hands on my head and with his thumbs he found the tension point and held them there. It hurt but I could feel the muscle start to relax. He kept saying this is bad; this is really, really bad. He could feel the heat being released as the energy of the muscle let go and it was hot, really hot. He said he hadn't felt that much heat in a long time from someone. He wanted me to test for TMJD. This is a man that suffered from the same problems and now he helps others figure out how to ease their suffering. It wasn't until after I had Kendra that I was able to afford the treatment. At that point we had paid our deductible for the year so the orthotic and injections were covered. I just had to come up with the money to pay the office visit for Physical Therapy.

When I took the screening for TMJD there were several questions that I had to answer. I could not believe how many symptoms I had never knowing that my TMJ had so much to do with my well being. My jaw never hurt, just popped all the time, I thought it was so strange. Some of the symptoms besides the various headaches were:
1. Ringing in the ears
2. Itchy ears
3. Arms getting numb when sleeping
4. Insomnia
5. Grinding teeth
6 clenching my jaw
7 Shoulder and neck stiffness
8. Dizziness
9 ear pain

I don't remember all of them, but when Dr. Brooks looked at the test he said it was almost identical to his except he had one thing I did not, and I had something he did not.
Then they did all kinds of tests to check the function of the jaw, and how bad the dysfunction would be. These would range from how the mouth closes, to how tight you can bite. It tested the coordination of the muscles in the head.

After that I was fitted for my orthotic which I wore all the time for a couple of months and now I wear it at night. I also started injections to relieve the pain of the headaches and physical therapy.

It was the physical therapy that was very enlightening. I was told I had no rotation in my neck. My head would not float at all. My ribs were locked to the spine and were not flexible to breathe properly. (As you can imagine playing the clarinet was harder than usual.) My mouth would hardly open. I had so many things that needed work I would be in physical therapy about 2 hours 2 to 3 times a week. My insurance only covered 20 visits and it wasn't until that last two that my neck stayed unlocked and the floatation was at 100%. The inflammation in the joints was so bad that it was no wonder my shoulders and my back hurt so much

Once again I found reasons for lowcarb eating in my life because high insulin levels can cause inflammationin joints and here I was a classic example of it. The treatments for my headaches have worked beautifully. I only wish I could afford to keep doing them. I particularly miss the physical therapy treatments, but there is no way I can afford 600 - 900 dollars for treatment. That doesn't include the deductible and other co pays. My insurance also will only cover 50% up to 1000.00, that isn't much in the long run when the injections can cost that much. Still it is so nice to know what the problem is. If I start to feel a headache coming on I can put my orthotic in and that usually takes care of it. I hate taking pain killers right now because they can interact with the antidepressant and I find I get more depressed after taking something as mild as Tylenol.

I would urge anyone with reoccurring headaches to get checked out for Temporal Mandibular Joint dysfunction. I never realized how much it interfered with my life.
Be sure to go to a Dentist that is specifically trained in this area, and be sure they do billing under Myofacial pain, most insurances will cover treatment under that. My dentist works with a medical dr. so he can bill medical insurance since most dental plans to do not cover TMJD treatment.

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