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Kathryn asked...

Jaw joint replacement

I had bi-lateral jaw joint replacements in May 2013. Prior to this I had several medical interventions in relation to jaw pain. For the last 12 months the pain has been getting worse and worse. I am now on muscle relaxants, nerve suppressants and morphine patches but am getting little pain relief. I have seen a specialist who feels a further operation is likely to leave me worse off. Is hypnotherapy something that may be beneficial to me? Alternatively, is there anything else as an alternative that may help me? I have tried acupuncture but did not gain any benefit from this.

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The answer

Hypnotherapy has been known to be used to relieve a variety of jaw related conditions some being: bruxism, TMJ (Temporomandibular joint syndrome) and prosthesis intolerance. We would advise to consult a hypnotherapist who may be able to guide you in respect to if and how hypnotherapy may be implemented to alleviate jaw pain.

Alternative healing therapies have been known to include: Oro-facial massage to the affected jaw muscles, stretching the jaw muscles and anti-inflammatory supplements such as Omega 3 oils and green tea extracts. Prior to using supplements it is best to check that they safe to take with concurrent medication.

Further self –care tips include:

  • Limit excessive joint movement and allow the jaw to rest by not opting for food groups which are relatively difficult to chew. Also avoid wide yawning, singing and chewing gum when possible.  
  • Using heating pads /ice packs onto the affected area as appropriate.  
  • Use relaxation techniques, acknowledge and reduce life stresses where possible. 
  • Physiotherapy has been known to help with jaw related complications. I would advise you to speak to relevant expert for further information on what this treatment option may offer in relation to your diagnosis.

Behavioural techniques such as postural adjustments. Biofeedback (use of electronic monitoring of a normally automatic bodily function in order to train someone to acquire voluntary control of that function), proprioceptive retraining ( body positioning).

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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