One of the confounding elements of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is the wide variety of potentially debilitating symptoms produced. This is especially problematic because the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), while rich in proprioceptors, has no nociceptors (pain receptors) on it’s load bearing surfaces.
This means that a TMD patient can present to any doctor with any combination of the following symptoms (a partial list) with little or no reported jaw pain: headache, neck pain and stiffness, multiple forms of ear symptoms, upper shoulder muscle pain, upper quarter pain including arm and hand pain/paraesthesia, dizziness, phantom tooth pain, tinnitus and more.
The solutions to this diagnostic nightmare will be discussed on this blog. These solutions are covered in depth on http://www.whiplashandtmj.com/ and video demonstrations of diagnostic and treatment procedures are available in DVD form: TMD Training System.
This blog is set up to provide information about the symptoms, examination, diagnosis and treatment of TMD, answer questions such as the one below and to provide a forum for you to express your opinions and experiences (comment section on each page/post). All discussion is welcome.
|This is an example of the type of TMD problem doctors frequently encounter:
Your patient’s predominant symptoms do NOT include jaw pain, clicking or locking but are specifically:
- Frequent, moderate to severe headaches
- Pain, muscle hypertonicity and stiffness in the neck which may or may not restrict head and neck movement
- Intermittent dizziness
1. How would you know if this patient had an inflamed TMJ that was producing these symptoms when the TMJ is NOT an area of complaint ?
2. Do you think that their inflamed TMJ would have to be on the same side as the pain and cervical muscle hypertonicity ?