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12 September 2008

question about pain... If there's nothing you can do about it, should you ignore it? or try to accommodate it? [More:] I have what I thought was a bizarro ear infection but apparently my jaw is out of joint or there's a muscle spasm. I'm to take ibuprofen for a week to see if it goes away. In the meantime eating hurts like crazy.

If I ignore the pain (in order to eat something besides bananas) am I making things worse?
Is it TMJ?
posted by DarkForest 12 September | 14:28
I generally give pain about a week, and then I see a doctor, even if I don't think she can do anything about it.
posted by eamondaly 12 September | 14:37
I don't think so- I've never had it before. The MD didn't mention TMJ when I was just in, and I'd THINK she would have.

If I ignore it, what are the odds I'm making it worse vs. maybe getting it to snap back into whatever spot it's supposed to be?
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 14:37
(But boy, that description sure seems to fit.)
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 14:38
I'm too big a weenie to wait a week. I'm always sure that within a week whatever's hurting will be permanently damaged. There is no end to my ability to imagine dire consequences.
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 14:42
yay! painkillers have kicked in! Now I don't care!
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 15:02
I had several bouts with TMJ (or at least I assume it was) in my 20s. I never did much of anything about it. Eventually it went away and stopped happening. No idea why. But it was hard to eat for a while. Check with your dentist.
posted by DarkForest 12 September | 15:03
I had super bad TMJ for years, and seeing a Network chiropractor (verrrry different than the bone-crunchy chiropractor) made it go away forever. Might not be the right thing to do in your situation, though,

If you've got a muscle-y spasm, something is causing tension/trauma. Have you been clenching your teeth when you sleep? If something has popped out of place, see a massage therapist. If there's a longer term problem, see a chiropractor or an acupuncturist.

But your body is telling you something is wrong. It might go away with some rest and relaxation, but if the painkillers don't solve the problem, go see someone who can deal with the causes of the pain, and not just the symptoms.
posted by Specklet 12 September | 15:30
Thanks, all!

I think I ate a corndog incorrectly (it was really hot and I was in a rush) because within an hour of eating it, that whole joint area was excruciating. But I'm so used to ear infections, and it seemed ear centered, that I just assumed that's what it was. But it was so intense and quick compared to my usual ear infections that I freaked out and made an MD appointment.

I never thought of the dentist. If it's not better next week I'll try that.
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 15:39
Hmm. Just a guess. Try taking a calcium/magnesium supplement 3 times a day for a week with orange juice. Your body may need it?

My ability to absorb calcium is impaired and this jaw out of whack thing happens quite a lot to me.

posted by nickyskye 12 September | 15:43
Yeah, I misread the title. (Though I can hardly be blamed, given the recent saturation.

What I saw:

"question about palin... If there's nothing you can do about it, should you ignore it? or try to accommodate it?"

Oddly fitting, I would say.

posted by SpiffyRob 12 September | 15:50
nickyskye- now that I think about it, I ran out my calcium/magnesium supplement a week ago and haven't bought more. Coincidence...? I'll go buy more. My body doesn't uptake calcium right either, it seems like.

(My previous ode to Calcium.)
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 15:53
heee... I keep misreading Palin as "pain" so it makes complete sense to me.
posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 15:54
Hi small_ruminant,

/disclaimer, am not a doctor, just a person who learned about health stuff from getting ill

hmmm. Interesting about the calcium connection. The parathyroid glands are the ones responsible for processing calcium in the body.

Age can impact the efficiency of calcium absorption. So can parathyroid illness. Or thyroid illness.

"Thyroid hormones are believed to influence calcium metabolism."

Calcium is related to much more than bones. Being hypocalcemic definitely impacts thinking, nerves, the heart. Not absorbing calcium can impact magnesium absorption and that is connected with cramping, constipation and other things.

Calcium citrate is the easiest to absorb. A lot of calcium tablets don't absorb well. Calcium citrate and magnesium citrate are interdependent/synergistic and digest well together. Vitamin D is also essential when taking calcium/magnesium. But don't overdose.

There are millions of cases of undiagnosed thyroid condition in America. Maybe up to 27 million (that site has a simple test you can do on your own re yr thyroid).

Symptoms of parathyroid disease.

Idea. You might consider going to an endocrinologist and asking for tests related to thyroid and parathyroid function? Possibly have a CT scan of your head and neck?

posted by nickyskye 12 September | 17:31
I discovered the calcium thing on my own- my MD just writes "psychotherapy" down for anything that's not aspecific physical pain so now I'm afraid to mention anything. I have lots and lots of energy, too, so that's off, but then when I run out of energy, that's it- done for the day and time for bed, no matter what. I also have an over abundance of whatever chemical does anxiety. (Meaning if something happens to make me anxious, it'll take a week before I don't have anxiety coursing through me at all hours for no reason.) I have no idea and no idea how to get it addressed. Most things I can deal with by sleeping a lot and exercise but that's just to maintain a reasonable grip on normalcy.


posted by small_ruminant 12 September | 17:49
No way to fix an MD who makes you think medical symptoms are "in your head". That is a danger to your life.

Apparently an overactive thyroid Hyperthroidism,(Graves Disease) also has calcium related issues.

Anxiety is associated with hyperthyroidism.

You might try the Diagnose-Me analyst.
posted by nickyskye 12 September | 21:05
sheet, I read that as: question about palin... If there's nothing you can do about it, should you ignore it? or try to accommodate it?

must step away from this election
posted by Claudia_SF 12 September | 23:25
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