One of the most maddening things you could ever hear as a patient is, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you, maybe it’s all in your head.” Putting aside the obvious (and really tired) joke that, yes, it IS in my head, there is… Read More »What to Do When Your Doctor Doesn’t Believe Your Pain
So, your dentist has recommended splint therapy. What now? There are some important questions that you need to ask before committing to a treatment plan. 1. What is the the expected outcome? Why is this particular splint being recommended for me? 2. What are my… Read More »Splint Therapy Questions For Your Dentist
Myth: Pain Killers Lead to Addiction Fact: When taken as directed, prescription pain medications rarely cause addiction. However, as with many drugs, your body can become physically dependent on pain medication. Although this doesn’t mean you’re addicted, you may have withdrawal symptoms if you stop the… Read More »Myths and Facts About Pain
According to research, there are differences between men and women when it comes to chronic pain. Women experience pain more intensely and more often than men. Females also respond to pain management differently, and their pain is not only often under-treated, it is treated less… Read More »Is There Gender Bias in Pain Management?
“One of the things that patients cry out the most for is having someone actually listen to them and understand them,” says Micke Brown, director of advocacy at the American Pain Foundation. Patients should think of themselves not as being a part of the problem,… Read More »Common Mistakes Made by Patients in Chronic Pain
One of the most difficult aspects of being diagnosed with TMJ disorder is realizing that there is no cure. When you are in pain and researching to find answers to your problems, you can come across many doctors/dentists/patients/marketers claiming that they have exactly what you… Read More »How Do I Know If I’m Choosing the Right Treatment or Surgery for My TMJ Disorder?
Heat and cold therapy has been used for decades to treat pain and swelling, and are two of the simplest treatments available. They are considered a generally safe, effective, inexpensive and under utilized tool. Heat and ice have opposite effects when you have pain and inflammation. Heat increases blood circulation and helps to relax tight muscles, while ice constricts blood vessels and decreases blood circulation to the area (and as a result reduces inflammation and numbs pain).
Ice – The Details
- Decreases inflammation
- Decreases pain
- Reduces swelling
How does ice work?
There are several theories about how ice decreases pain. Some of them are:
1. Decreased nerve transmission in pain fibers
2. Cold raises the pain threshold
3. Cold sensations over-ride the pain sensations
4. Cold causes a release of endorphins
5. Cold reduces the activity of free nerve endings
Ice causes a narrowing of blood vessels and cools the surface of the skin and underlying tissue. This can also attribute to decrease in pain as the pressure from swelling decreases.
The Four Stages of IceRead More »Ice vs. Heat for Jaw Pain: The Showdown
First, we posted our TMJ headache overview article. It talks about the different types of headaches, and what you should do in general to treat them. Read more about TMJ related headaches… Next on the list, is Botox. Yesterday, the FDA approved Botox for the… Read More »TMJ Headache Article Published, Botox Approved for Migraine
- If this is a specialist, make sure you have obtained the proper referrals from your primary care doctor
- Call the specialist as soon as you have the referral in your hand to see what their process is for new patients. Some specialists need a lot of paperwork, records, and will not see you (even if you have a PPO) without a letter and formal referral from the referring physician.
- If appointments are being scheduled months out for new patients, ask to be put on the cancellation list.
- Do you have a detailed health profile? If not, this would be a great time to make one, be sure to include basic information, risk factors, current issues, past surgeries, any medication you are on, (include herbs and vitamins), family history allergies etc.
- Get copies of your health records and any imaging.
- If you have had an MRI, CT Scan, or xrays done, get copies sent over to the new doctor. This will give him time to read them in advance.