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Could it be TMJ/TMD? Headache, neck and shoulder pain.

30 y/o female, good health, average weight - workout daily, a creature of habit - i.e. wake up early, eat breakfast, workout, and start my work day. I work at home, on a computer. About 2 months ago I had a general feeling of unwellness, I felt weak, dizzy, thought perhaps I had been stressed by my work load or perhaps working out too strenuously. Some rest and food, I still felt dizzy, weak and then I thought perhaps it's my sinusues - I've had sinus problems off and on, but since getting rid of my cat a few years ago, my allergies generally were morning sniffles and that was it. So I took some Mucinex, and that seemed to make me feel better. Then it came back - and I noticed my allergies were often exacerbated by the consumption of dairy, so I stopped that.

Still had symtoms - basically it was on and off and I switched b/w Mucinex and decongestants, and tried to take allergy pills and neti pot. Mind you - I was not sneezing or having a runny nose, I just felt congested, pressure. Finally it just didn't seem to be getting better, a trip to the Dr.'s office and I was given a steroid shot and a fluticasone nasal spray which I used for a week. Still not better, went to an ENT who looked in my nose with a scope and told me my sinuses looked healthy. Waited for a week til I went back to my general practitioner, and she gave me a Z-Pak in case I had an infection I was fighting off. At this point my only symptom was a constant, dull "headache." More like an ache in my head though I did start to have aches in other areas of my head, which I don't doubt was due to stress and tension from wondering what was/is wrong. Finally I got a CT scan - the CT scan clinic called back and said results showed nothing abnormal; my doctor called and said there's some slight inflammation in the sinues and a slight deviated septum - probably acute sinusitis.

Well - I don't know anymore. As I think back on it - I have also had a sore neck and shoulders this entire time - which I attributed to my vigrous workouts. As well as perhaps bad posture at working on my computer everyday. Having some difficulty opening my mouth, and an uncomfortable feeling when I yawn or stretch in the area where I am having this "ache" in my head, which I can only describe as above the roof of my mouth, behind the bridge of my nose. I did go get a massage a couple of times where the masseuse helped the alignment of my jaw. But I am still not 100% - and though I can function, it is very tiring and difficult to concentrate. And I don't know where to go, who to see... I am wondering if this could be some kind of TMJ/TMD - though it doesn't necessarily seem like the jaw joint, but perhaps muscles that work with the jaw and head area, that also connects with neck and shoulders.

So currently I:
- have an ache in my "head" that feels like a sore muscle, it feels tight - I would almost describe it as a pressure
- I feel uncomfortable when I bend forward, as if something is pulling from the center (behind bridge of nose, above roof of mouth)
- sore neck and shoulder area, can turn my head no problem
- difficulty concentrating, but I can workout (cardio, yoga, no weights, would be too scared of hurting myself to lift anything) - and I feel generally good after my workout though all my symptoms are still there (I probably just feel less depressed after a good workout)
- I do not, as far as I know, grind my teeth; I DO often catch myself making awkward faces when I concentrate .. which I have been trying to be mindful of

Any thoughts would be appreciated, especially if you've had any experience with similar symmptoms and/or diagnosed with TMJ/TMD.
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replied November 2nd, 2012
Experienced User
hopefully its just a stressful period and will go away. Most ppl who have tmj find that is resumes on its own. the people who live in day in and day out misery are the ones who well it never goes away. The symptoms sound like TMJD but more than likley they will pass.
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replied November 2nd, 2012
thanks for your response. i have always been a pretty positive person, so i am trying to stay positive and hopeful that it will pass. the human body can be very mysterious..
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replied November 4th, 2012
Experienced User
What worked for me..

Back sleeping.
Making sure tongue does not curl to right during concentration. I can make my jaw click moving tongue from upper right molar out to left. Tongue to the right during stress or concentration throws the jaw way out of kilter.
Swimming and neck loosening exercises.
Deep sit-ups on yoga ball.
Avoid stress if at all possible. Yeah work pays us to take stress. Life is tough that way.
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