Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.



I'm beginning to think that riding the bus is aggravating my TMJ, which is then triggering headaches. Again last night, after a fine and relaxing evening, I rode the bus home and after my bus ride started to feel a headache creeping up on me. By the time I went to bed, I definitely had a headache but hoped that I could sleep it off. (No such luck: was awake tossing and turning in pain between 3:00am and 4:00am.) When it came time to get up for the day I was in full headache mode, moving in slow motion to avoid jostling myself, hyper-aware of noise and light and just generally miserable. I could definitely feel the tension in my neck and jaw this time, now that I was trying to be aware. Finally around 2:00 everything had subsided, but that was over 12 hours of lifestyle disrupting headache pain, and that's just no good.

I'm looking at replacing my pillows to see if I can get some relief that way. I'm also going to start tracking my headache-to-bus ratio to see if that's just my imagination or what. My current theory is that the bouncing and jostling of the bus (especially the drivers that start and stop so abruptly and really jerk the passengers around) might be enough to push me over the edge at those times when I'm already on the verge: not sleeping soundly, clenching my teeth in my sleep, spending a lot of time sitting in front of the computer (or even driving), etc.

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Anonymous Kara Says:

I've had TMJ since the 5th grade, and after having daily headaches for several months a few years ago, I had to break down and get a bite splint to wear at night. Without dental insurance, it cost me $400, and I still wear it.

The only pillows I can use are latex ones, as they are the ONLY pillow that doesn't push my jaw to the side in the night. They're expensive, but they last just about a year, and you can usually get them 50% off if you watch for sales.

I still have problems with it. In fact, I have a headache from it right now for the first time in months. blah.

Blogger Evan Says:

I don't know if it's called a bite splint, but Rona has a clear plastic thing that fits over her top teeth. She clenches her teeth in her sleep, and actually cracked one or two molars, if I recall correctly. This thing distributes the force evenly over all your teeth, and I can see how it might help with TMJ, too.

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

I wonder if the bus factor might not be the jostling, but the fact that it's unpredictable jostling. When you're the driver of a car over those same streets you know when you're about to stop, to swerve around a pothole (well, hopefully), and when the road it about to get bumpy. But unless you're in the first forward-facing seat of the bus and you spend your time watching the road, instead of reading, all those jostles will come as surprises, and there's more reactive muscle tensing.


Anonymous Kara Says:

The clear plastic thing that fits over her top teeth is a bite splint. It's what I have--my TMJ was brought on my clenching my teeth in the night. The cartilage in both sides of my jaw slipped because of it.

The bite splint made life so much better.


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