3 months ago I was in a car accident and got whiplash.

Ever since the accident there has been several occasions when I thought that I had an ear infection yet I actually didn't have one.

Now I have fullness mainly in my left ear and it makes popping sounds there everytime I swallow and sometimes when I open my mouth.

I still have a bunch of the symptoms of the whiplash like headaches, shoulder/ arm pain, constant ear popping and things like that.

I went to my dentist he said hopefully it will go away on it's on but if it doesn't call him back and he will send me to a specialist.

Also I am seeing a chiropractor for my whiplash and when I told him about the ear pain he played around with my head and did an adjustment that got rid of my ear pain completely then I felt really good overall for about 4 days but it came back now.

Any suggestions on what my plan of action should be? Should I try to get my chiropractor to fix this or a special dentist?

Does this sound like TMJ or just whiplash?

Thanks,

Frank
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replied September 14th, 2007
Supporter
Hi FTank,
Whiplash is a common cause of TMJ. It can go away on its own but 3 months is pushing it, so you might have to be more pro-active. Basically what has happened is that the ligaments, muscle, cartilage (all that medical stuff) gets stretched too much in a whiplash and can even cause the meniscus to get trapped out of joint (or just injures it enough so it has a harder time staying where it belongs).

Chiropractics can help but they do make me a little nervous because most (some) like to "crack." This cracking can cause arthritis further down the road. But I'm hearing that chiros has changed since I was last at one (15 yrs ago).

You should treat your jaw like it has been sprained (RICE - rest, ice, compression, elevation). Only problem is that we can't compress the jaw joint and complete rest is impossible. BUT, talking less, eating softer foods, no gum chewing, not opening the mouth wide, especially for any length of time (even to yawn or for a dentist) can be most beneficial. Use ice directly on the joint (using a towel) reduces any swelling and pain, and rotate with moist heat can get the blood flowing and also can reduce pain. Be careful to watch your posture especially your head and neck positions.

Once you think things have calmed down enough, there are exercises that can be done to strength your jaw (like PT). Physical Therapy can also be a big help (as long as it's done by a therapist trained in TMJ problems).

I hope and pray that you find the help you need. Whiplash TMJ can be "fixed," but it might take some time and "good" help. Take care.

God bless...
Carol
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replied September 14th, 2007
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Hey
you have made a good move going to a chiropractor. you may also want to find a good doctor for tmd(i can help if you need it) you need to get started on this asap. the sooner the better.

it does sound like tmd.
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replied September 14th, 2007
Thanks for the replies.

I remember when I was younger and I wore a retainer there was like 2 weeks were my jaw locked up, clicked a bunch, and I got super depressed but then it just disappeared and never came back.

Also about 2 years ago when I did intense workouts at the gym my ears got real pressurized and I had some weird symptoms for like an hour. I briefly considered the possability of a stroke but again that went away and never came back.

3 months ago after the accident I thought something got messed up to keep causing me ear infections. My left side is much worse but there has been symptoms on the right from time to time.

Right now I have rice krispy sounds in my ears and pop sounds.

Do you think this is something my chiropractor can fix on his own or should I see a tmj doctor?
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replied September 14th, 2007
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Hey
since you say you wore a retainer im assuming that you had braces. you may have some muscular imbalances as well. esp now after the accident. often a tmd doctor and a chiro will work together to get you on the right path to recovery. it is a good idea to see a tmd doctor( i can get you a good one) the chiro is good to keep up. it helps imensly with the jaw. you could just see a chiropractor and be fine but it wont entirely fix the problem if the muscles are out of wack. I use a chiro and a tmd doc. together and that is the only way that ive been able to get to where i am today.
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replied September 14th, 2007
Thanks for all the information.

I think its good I learned about TMJ but I wonder if I am making the symptoms worse thinking about it so much now.

I live in Downingtown PA.

Are you aware of a good TMJ specialist in this area?
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replied September 14th, 2007
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FTank wrote:
Thanks for all the information.

I think its good I learned about TMJ but I wonder if I am making the symptoms worse thinking about it so much now.

I live in Downingtown PA.

Are you aware of a good TMJ specialist in this area?


hey I sent you a couple of pm's. I cant post a doctors name here but I can through pm. so that is where you will find the info. let me know if you need anything further. If i dint get the area right let me know and ill look at my book of specialists again:)
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replied September 16th, 2007
Experienced User
I Know!! I Know!!!
Hi hello.I'm cindy I know alot about this.!!! the tmj-whiplash connection. I have a neck that creates tmj and ear fullness and problems. you are not crazy when you fell like your chiropracter made it go away. He did. but what happens is the body returns to that bad position and the symptoms return in a few days. The upper neck has a way of encroaching on a jaw and the ears that is why whiplash and tmj go hand in hand. The upper neck and jaw are about 1/4 inch away from each other and all the muscles connect the neck and jaw together.i would continue with a chiropracter, if you do not take care of that neck because of the whiplash, as you get older you will have big problems like I have. I have been going to my chiropracter 3 times a week for 5 years because of a bad neck and have absolutely No arthritic wearing of the bones what so ever. then check into the jaw also. the other ladies will help on that, but i chimmed in on the neck part of the equation, to try and explain that part to you. if you have any more questions i could probably explain more. i hope that helps some, that is why alot of us are here on the boards. to help folks and give support. love cindy
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replied September 16th, 2007
Experienced User
Bit More?
see if your jaw locked up when you were younger, you probably had a predisposition to maybe coming down with tmj, so the whiplash acccident, was probably All it took to put the whole mess into action. i have had symptoms that made me think i was having a stroke also. the jaw and neck have alot of nerves... the face is full of nerves and the upper neck is by the brain stem, so nerves come thru there like a clearing house. it can do some strange scarey stuff. this board is great to read, you'll see all your symptoms here, i think love cindy
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replied September 17th, 2007
Update
I went back to my chiropractor and he said he doesn't think my tmj was injured during the accident because I would have had more symptoms. He said to wait and see if the symptoms go away for now. He looked at my jaw and said it was out of alignment so he aligned that.

Here is my list of symptoms-

popping or clicking sounds in my left tmj everytime I make a swallowing motion in my throat.

My left ear feels like it needs to pop all the time.

Sometimes pressure in my left temple.

I noticed that when I wake up in the morning my jaw is a little sore.

But I can fit 3 fingers inside my mouth and opening and closing my mouth doesn't cause clicking or popping. The popping occurs from making a swallowing motion in my throat.

Does this sound like part of the whiplash injury and should just clear itself up as the whiplash injury heals?
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replied September 17th, 2007
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Re: Update
FTank wrote:
I went back to my chiropractor and he said he doesn't think my tmj was injured during the accident because I would have had more symptoms. He said to wait and see if the symptoms go away for now. He looked at my jaw and said it was out of alignment so he aligned that.

Here is my list of symptoms-

popping or clicking sounds in my left tmj everytime I make a swallowing motion in my throat.

My left ear feels like it needs to pop all the time.

Sometimes pressure in my left temple.

I noticed that when I wake up in the morning my jaw is a little sore.

But I can fit 3 fingers inside my mouth and opening and closing my mouth doesn't cause clicking or popping. The popping occurs from making a swallowing motion in my throat.

Does this sound like part of the whiplash injury and should just clear itself up as the whiplash injury heals?


Im sorry but any accident that you have as major as that to give you whiplash does effect the tmj. You need to get to a specialist. chiro alone will not fix this.
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replied September 17th, 2007
Okay I scheduled an appointment with a Neuromuscular Dentist. I have an accident claim because I was rear-ended and the other insurance company admitted fault. I'm not sure if a TMJ injury will result in some sort of conflict here with them not wanting to pay. But health and life enjoyment are more important than money...I think. I started doing spring forest qigong to help with relaxing.

I also ordered

Taking Control of Tmj: Your Total Wellness Program for Recovering from Tempromandibular Joint Pain, Whiplash, Fibromyalgia, and Related Disorders

Eliminate TMJ and Teeth Grinding

from amazon.com

Thanks for your help. I just hope this dentist doesn't do anything to make it worse by accident because right now it is not that bad but I just worry about it progressing to some of the horror stories I have read about from others.
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replied September 17th, 2007
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FTank wrote:
Okay I scheduled an appointment with a Neuromuscular Dentist. I have an accident claim because I was rear-ended and the other insurance company admitted fault. I'm not sure if a TMJ injury will result in some sort of conflict here with them not wanting to pay. But health and life enjoyment are more important than money...I think. I started doing spring forest qigong to help with relaxing.

I also ordered

Taking Control of Tmj: Your Total Wellness Program for Recovering from Tempromandibular Joint Pain, Whiplash, Fibromyalgia, and Related Disorders

Eliminate TMJ and Teeth Grinding

from amazon.com

Thanks for your help. I just hope this dentist doesn't do anything to make it worse by accident because right now it is not that bad but I just worry about it progressing to some of the horror stories I have read about from others.


with this doctor it wont progress into a horror story. i promise you it will do nothing but get better from here.
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replied September 18th, 2007
Experienced User
Ftank?
That chiro said your jaw WAS OUT OF ALIGNMENT? so he aligned it? Ok, that is good, but dyan is right, your jaw has been effected by that whiplash, thats what we are trying to explain. your jaw needs to be treated and that neck. It is COMMON for a whiplash incident to give people tmj along with whiplash. the upper neck is CLOSE to the jaws any JOLT and whipping of a whiplash accident. effects the jaw as well. They work hand in hand and are connected to each other with over 100 muscles. every symptom you mention is a tmj symptom, BUT a whiplashed UPPER NECK can cause the same thing and symptoms. you have to take care of BOTH the NECK and JAW. i would say in your case. love cindy
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replied September 19th, 2007
Physical Therapy Neck Traction
Thursday I start physical therapy to rehab my neck. I don't see the Neuromuscular Dentist untill next week.

I read that if you have a TMJ injury you should not have next traction performed until you have treated the TMJ injury. Is this correct? Also is there anything else I should avoid in physical therapy?

Thanks
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replied September 19th, 2007
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Re: Physical Therapy Neck Traction
FTank wrote:
Thursday I start physical therapy to rehab my neck. I don't see the Neuromuscular Dentist untill next week.

I read that if you have a TMJ injury you should not have next traction performed until you have treated the TMJ injury. Is this correct? Also is there anything else I should avoid in physical therapy?

Thanks


As long as the pt knows that you have tmd they should know how to deal with it. if it flares up id stop untill i see the neuromuscular dentist. I wouldnt have traction or anything else till the tmd is treated. if one thing is out you have trouble with the jaw. at least if you have the jaw treated you know what it is that is causing it. YOu should have the pt and the neuromuscular dentist talk and the chiropractor talk to both of them so that all are on the same page and working together. this is how you will have the most success. we are like a puzzle. puzzle peices work together to make a picture. docs are the puzzle peices and when they work together they make a pretty picture. Id get them all working together. Make sure that the pt is a good one. good is a key word with all of these people. if they dont know what they are doing they can cause more damage. I know that the nmd you will see is good cause i did the check on him. get eveyone on the same page. you will be happy that you did.
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replied September 19th, 2007
Okay I will see how they feel about that. I think that would be cool if If I could get them to do that.

Thanks for all your help. This whole car accident thing has been an eye opening experience. I learned that whiplash/associated injuries are the real deal and we have a long way to go to really provide people with what they need to recover fully. I wish I knew what I knew now 3 months ago so I could have gotten a jump on this thing but I am hopeful that since I didn't wait years to try and take care of it I can fully recover. If anyone I know gets hit from behind I will let them know to take it seriously and not to take any chances.
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replied September 19th, 2007
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FTank wrote:
Okay I will see how they feel about that. I think that would be cool if If I could get them to do that.

Thanks for all your help. This whole car accident thing has been an eye opening experience. I learned that whiplash/associated injuries are the real deal and we have a long way to go to really provide people with what they need to recover fully. I wish I knew what I knew now 3 months ago so I could have gotten a jump on this thing but I am hopeful that since I didn't wait years to try and take care of it I can fully recover. If anyone I know gets hit from behind I will let them know to take it seriously and not to take any chances.



that will be a good idea to warn people. I still think that you will be ok treating it now. i started at the beginning but not soon enough to find what i found now and know what i know now. that s why im out here trying to help.
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replied September 20th, 2007
Some of the things I got out of "Taking control of TMJ" seemed to help a lot. The headaches went away and fatigue decreased.

Unfortunately I just got back from the chiropractor. My ear was slightly full when I got in and I told him about it. He looked at it and did something with my neck and now my ear is about 3 times as full and the trap muscle is really tight. Hopefully physical therapy will go better today.
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replied September 20th, 2007
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FTank wrote:
Some of the things I got out of "Taking control of TMJ" seemed to help a lot. The headaches went away and fatigue decreased.

Unfortunately I just got back from the chiropractor. My ear was slightly full when I got in and I told him about it. He looked at it and did something with my neck and now my ear is about 3 times as full and the trap muscle is really tight. Hopefully physical therapy will go better today.


unfortunately somethings tend to get worse before they get better. you are gonna hurt but it will get better.
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