TMJ Treatments jaw pain The Case of the Detrimental Diagnosis Flickr cc credit ChristerHello dear readers- I knew this title would catch your attention! The blog for today is actually about one of our patients that my osteopath/physical therapist buddy, Dr. Logan Cooper, just saw a short while ago. This is a case of a fellow who came to my practice a few months ago and he had an MRI in hand from a local radiology office. He had gone to some local dentist who said he understood TMJ disorders and could help him with all the neck/back/jaw/shoulder/migraine pain that he had been experiencing for decades. I took a look at the guy’s TMJ MRI and the report said there was nothing of note – i.e. nothing wrong at all. Well, this made no sense to me so I asked the fellow to re-do the MRI up at Novant – the place I had used for many years. As it turns out, the new MRI confirmed blatant medial displacement of the discs on both sides of the jaw joints – i.e. this guy was a mess (sorry for the technical terminology here).

I discussed the MRI findings (the good MRI that is) with our patient, then took a few xrays to see what else we might find. The films showed the cranial bones were all distorted- really bent out of shape. This was when the patient became a little perturbed, so I asked him “What’s wrong?… what is upsetting you?” He explained that the other dentist wanted him to go right into braces, and then later do around $50,000 worth of crowns. He said it was very upsetting to hear such a difference in ideas and on how to treat because my plan only involved a couple appliances and nothing further until and unless the discs are back in place – and by now, dear readers, you have heard this many times- NO CASE FINISHING until and unless the discs are much improved! This patient was basically told to go right into a finished position right away. It would have been a disaster and he knew it now.

Anyway, back to the story. I explained all the distortions and slipped discs problems and he understood very well. Today he began working with Dr. Cooper and at the end of the appointment came over to me and said he was amazed what he learned. Dr. Cooper was able to show him that his leg/foot problems were actually causing his severe neck and back pain! And if I may once again say what I’ve said a million times: “It’s ALL Connected!” Who would’ve thunk it! 😊 Music comes to mind: Da foot bone is connected to da leg bone…da leg bone is connected to the hip bone…and onwards. In other words, what goes on in one part of the body really does affect the rest of the body, which affects your sleep, your healing, your entire well being. Get it? Got it? Good. ‘Nuff said.

And now the dilemma that runs through my mind every day. Why is it that so few doctors out there simply do not understand that the body really is connected? This fellow in the above paragraphs had been told by many doctors that all he could was to take botox and pills for the pain. That is simply not true. What actually works better is being seen by a doctor who understands the human body and strives toward better alignment of the body. When you are lined up properly, the CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) flows better and the lymphatics (crud) drains out better and you are simply healthier!