Saturday, May 21, 2011

TMJ + Hypermobility Syndrome + Physio Update

K has recently started to treatment my TMJ (Jaw). I have probably had about 3-4 sessions where she has worked on TMJ and already there are significant improvements. For a start I have now got significantly more ROM on opening my mouth, and prior to the  intervention, there was significant deviation to the left. The right side was the stronger side and I chewed predominately on the right side. Since K has started work on my TMJ I am now chewing much more on the left side - but am actually deliberately biasing this for time being to build up the muscles on that side and to give the right side a rest. This is also resulting in improved articulation of the masseter and facial muscles when I talked - because prior to treatment, there was little movement on the left side of my face and jaw. I am now chewing my food more and in a better way since I chewed minimally because of pain and restriction. If I start to chew my food better it is likely to improve my digestion.

TMJ problems are often found in hypermobile patients and also relate to problems with the C-Spine (Baptistella & Traebert, 2008). I think that there is probably masked hypermobility in both my TMJ and C-Spine which would account for spasm and loss of function. K's work is beginning to improve both of these and I am now aware of more clicking in my jaw to the left, but already my TMJ at rest feels a lot more comfortable in the day. At night I wear an orthodontic appliance to help rest the muscles and to avoid bruxism.

In terms of my C-Spine, I have an odd pattern of wanting my neck to remain in lateral flexion to the left which, if disturbed or altered by K herself causes a huge spasm attack. This is apparently some kind of neurological response, but we are now researching what might be going on as to why I do not want to position my head to the right (very easily). It might be that as the TMJ problem improves, this will also feed into C-Spine posture, positioning and then digestion in terms of the fact I am now chewing what I eat, where I couldn't before.

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