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Why Didn’T I Do This Sooner?

Dr Martin Abelar - January 15, 2015 - 0 comments

The most gratifying things about treating a patient’s TMJ is seeing the relief from pain.  And, once that pain is behind most of them, one of the first reactions is “why didn’t I do this sooner?”   Here’s a few reasons why.

When you are in pain, you are not your best self.   A TMJ sufferer’s pain is often in the head, neck and shoulders, not just the jaw.   This can mean migraines and persistent pain so bad you just want it to stop.  Even with someone helping them this sort of patient’s top priority is often to stop the pain.   Most TMJ patients tell us that they have suffered with the problem for years and only after cycles and cycles of the pain do they take the time to do the research to learn about neuromuscular dentistry and find a neuromuscular dentist.

And, due to the location of the pain, most TMJ sufferers go to doctors.  This is fast way to get prescription pain relief that treat the symptom but not the cause.  When the pain is managed this way, a patient tends simply to maintain the status quo.  This can become a situation that goes on for months or years.   Many TMJ patients that come to us tell us they have been off and on prescription pain medications for years due to the TMJ pain.  Again, it often takes years before the patient will do something actually to address the root cause of the pain: their TMJ.

So, when I finally get someone out of their TMJ pain and it’s gone for good, they often say “Why didn’t I do this sooner?”  It’s part of the relief of having TMJ behind you and not part of your day-to-day life.  It’s also a great lesson moving forward to listen to your body.  Pain is feedback; when it hurts, your body is telling you something is wrong.  Numbing it or ignoring it only makes the chronic pain last longer because you are not treating it.

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