Prolotherapy for TMJS?
September 2, 2006 10:52 AM   Subscribe

My Girlfriend is considering Prolotherapy as treatment for her TMJ Syndrome. Anyone have any experience with this? Good or bad?
posted by Scoops to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
TMJ is a result of having the jaw slightly out of alignment. This is often set into motion by having braces. The soft tissue (tendons, muscles, etc.) adjust to the jaw being out of position, which is how it becomes chronic.

After years of horrible TMJ (yawning was often intensely painful) I went to a doctor, in my case an osteopath (which is an MD who has spent 300-500 learning about the musculoskeletal system). He spent half an hour palpitating my jaw, feeling where it was out of alignment, and sliding it back into place.

That was five years ago. I need to go back for another adjustment now, as he'd forecast I'd need a couple of times each decade, but I've been symptom-free for years.

There's no need for injecting stuff into the jaw. It's simply out of alignment. So get it lined up. Problem solved.
posted by waldo at 11:14 AM on September 2, 2006 [1 favorite]

Two things:

1) Consider a "bite splint." I used one in conjunction with (2) and I no longer have TMJ.

2) Consider "quitting your job." I did this in conjunction with (1) and I no longer have TMJ.
posted by user92371 at 11:32 AM on September 2, 2006

I can't speak to Prolotherapy but my brother manages the TMJ he's had since childhood with higher than RDA doses of vitamin B complex. He had tried various treatments including something called TENS or TINS (I don't remember) and didn't have much success. I read in a book called 'Prescription for Nutritional Healing' by Dr James Balch that some cases of TMJ can be relieved with vitamin B. I called my brother and he started the vitamin that night. Within 24 hours the pain was gone.

He uses GNC's brand. I don't know how many milligrams takes but I see him take a tablet at every meal. He says he takes enough to make his pee glow. When he lived overseas we had to ship him caseloads because GNC didn't have stores in Asia.

When he enters stressful periods in his life he has to supplement the vitamin B with ibuprofen but when things are fairly stable he uses the vitamin B alone. There was a time when he was doing a lot of life changing things like moving back to the US, getting married, getting a new job, etc. and the pain came back.

Disclaimer: IANAD.
posted by Soda-Da at 12:29 PM on September 2, 2006

I, top, quit my job as a TMJ cure, and got a series of six chiropractic treatments. I went from 1600 mg of ibuprofen a day for many months, and sometimes more, to nothing in two weeks. I often get a flare-up after a dental visit; a chiropractic adjustment eases it.

If the source problem is bruxism (teeth-grinding), magnesium can help.
posted by Riverine at 2:09 PM on September 2, 2006

I can't explain why it worked, but chiropractic treatment also did the trick for me. My symptoms were severe enough that I was in pain, my jaw movement was quite limited, and the joint was constantly locking up and making popping sounds. I would stand in a hot shower every morning crying, trying to get it relaxed enough to painfully pop back into place. I was worried because I was so young (under 20) when my symptoms became severe, and I wondered how I was going to make it to 40 without major surgery.

So I went to a chiropractor about half a dozen times; each time he did the stereotypical Atlas joint popping and bumped both sides of my jaw a little with a small, cushioned, spring-loaded device. That was more than ten years ago, and I haven't had any problems since. It was like magic, really.

I went back for one visit a few years ago, very late in my pregnancy, when I was starting to have trouble waddling around upright. I could barely get out of my car on the way in, but turned around and skipped out of the office after treatment that probably took less than three minutes.

I don't know how it works so well so quickly, but it does. It also feels very nice and seems to have a kind of relaxing effect.

The only negative thing is that they will sometimes tell you you need to come in three times a week for three months, then once a week for six additional months, or some other intense schedule that is not really maintainable if you have a life and, in particular, if your insurance doesn't cover chiropractic care. I always just agreed to it all, then called and cancelled further treatment when my symptoms were relieved.
posted by littlegreenlights at 9:37 PM on September 2, 2006

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