Suzane, have your doctors determined WHAT is causing your pain? Have they tried Botox for your headaches? I can't remember if you've said so or not, but it could be an option to try. Is there any type of surgery that can be done to cut the nerves that cause the pain? What about acupuncture?
The best I can suggest to you is to get some meditation CDs that walk you thru relaxation with guided imagery. You are so stressed from being in so much pain right now, there's no way you can relax enough without help, to relieve some of the tension. Even though you say you have a problem with concentration, it would be worth trying again.
This post stood out to me. Botox... It definitely worked for me. I've had 4 injections with great results and it took away all the pain except for the area directly on the TMJ. It lasts 3 months.
I also had arthroscopy where they clean out your joint with saline solution. It didn't seem to do anything, but it changed the pain from accumulating while standing, to accumulating while laying down.
Nerve surgery... Yes, I heard that they can burn the nerves and inject nerve blocks. I'm trying to get doctors to do those things for me.
I had MRI's that show condyle degeneration and bone spurs.
I believe that relaxation tapes are actually helpful. Stress plays a huge factor in muscle pain. If you have muscle pain, then relaxation tapes and/or Botox would help a lot.
Acupuncture didn't help me. I'm curious if everyone who has TMJ here has also had some form of dental surgery (like getting wisdom teeth pulled) which may have caused their life destroying condition. I had my wisdom teeth pulled and my jaw was pried on the same side I now have permanent pain.
Unfortunately for me, I'm only 32, and I've been suffering with this for 8 years, since I was 24, and 6 years after I got my wisdom teeth pulled.
Because of my pried jaw and bent tooth, I clenched and grind my teeth until my jaw popped in 2002.
How do you cope with the pain? My answer to this question is that we cope by doing something about
it. I had a doctor tell me once that I was obsessing about
it and that I needed to get on with my life. Such a person doesn't understand the pain we go through. I am not an obsessive type person at all. I liken pain to hunger. If you're starving all the time I suppose you might appear to obsess about
food. Well, I just want to be out of pain.
I've been on opiates for 1 1/2 years now and have always believed in *never* doing drugs. I won't do anti-depressants or most drugs. These things just civet up the pain and I want to find real help so I can be clear-headed and pain free.
Unfortunately, the medical system in my native USA is despicable. First off, I've paid tens of thousands of dollars to insurance companies so that their executives can be very stinking rich, while I don't even have my own hard-earned money helping me, let alone the insurance companies who refuse everything left and right. And at the doctors you never know how much you'll pay until months later when you get a bill, so you're afraid to even ask questions because they'll charge more, and when you do get the bill it's a $100 for each minute, such as $800 or $566 for absolutely nothing, and then they force you to pay and you have no choice because eventually you must give in.
So, I'm stuck with this for the rest of my life, even though the money I paid to the insurance companies would have been more than enough to help me pay for all these doctors visits. Last month I paid $900 in insurance and doctor costs for absolutely nothing, a referral to a different doctor.