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Chronic Neck and Jaw Pain

AdaytodayAAdaytoday Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello everyone,

This is my first post on the website, but I figured if nothing else it could be theraputic after dealing with chronic pain for almost a year now!

I am looking to find anyone with similar experiences and if so if anyone thinks that a second opinion would be beneficial for me.

My Background: I was in a motor vehicle accident almost a year ago. Since then I have had persistent neck pain. I also developed TMD problems 3 months or so after the accident and ended up finding out the disk in my jaw was displaced (of which was more painful than the neck at that point).

My neck pain is deep aching, and I occasionally get a non-radiating pinch around C3 if I my neck is turned far enough to the left. My shoulders are always tight and painful, my neck is always stiff, and when the pain is "flaring" up really bad it's as if I have been kicked in the back of the head. My jaw is always stiff now, and it gets knocked out of place again when my neck is flaring up. I cannot control my jaw clenching when I am in neck pain, so then my face hurts too.

I've been seen by Chiro/massage therapists right after the accident, Physical Therapy (for neck, and everntually a PT specializing in the jaw), a Physiatrist (speciliazing in the spine/neck), Acupuncture, and I am just about giving up now.

I had an MRI which was cleared, and ended up having cervial facet injections (as they suspected facet syndrome) in c2 c3... during the procedure was the most pain free I have been in months and I didn't want them to take the IV out.

Since the facet injection did not provide me much relief esp. since I had a painful cortisone flair, my Physiatrist is saying my pain is myofascial. I guess I can accept that, but it does not make sense that just my muscles would cause such long standing pain, and such PAINFUL pain.



  • Several years ago a chiropractor adjusted my perfectly healthy neck. I immediately started getting terrible headaches with intense jaw pain. This went on for at least 6 months. I went from dr to dr and finally ended up at a neurologist who ordered an MRI and we discovered my c3 was bulging. They gave me a steroid dose pack and within 5 days my pain was gone. This was months of suicide thoughts from the most extreme pain I had experienced in my head/ right jaw. I wasn't taking anything but tylenol and advil my doctors at the time would give like 5 valium and 10 hydrocodone at a time. I was miserable.

    I would definitely recommend a second opinion from a neurologist, NS, or OS. See what a real specialist has to say. You may be a surgical candidate so consulting with a surgeon might be a good idwa

    Good luck,

  • I have to totally agree with Julie, get a second opinion for sure. I have never been to a chiropractor. I personally do not think what they do is helping people. I know many have gotten relief from them, but I personally am terrified to have someone do that to my spine. My husband has gone to one many times, and swears by them, but I think it is just a money maker that if you don't continue forever, the pains will just return. That's just my two sense though :-)

    When I first started having arm pain, the doctors thought I hurt my shoulder. I went over a year doing physical therapy, injections (into the shoulder joint, which was pretty painful), multiple doctors visits, etc. Finally after about a year and a half I couldn't take it anymore. They sent me to a fibromyalgia specialist (I guess when all else fails, see if its fibro???). Well, this guys ends up being the smartest of the bunch and immediately sends me down for xrays of my spine. Wouldn't ya know, I had severely herniated my disc at C5/6....

    Keep on looking, don't give up! I know it is hard, been there. Be persistent and keep asking questions or ask for a referral for a second opinion. If I would have been more persistent, it could have moved things along a little quicker. At that time, I was pretty timid and was a "go with the flow, don't question the doctors" type person. Ever since that long, drawn out diagnosis, no more timid here!

    Good luck and welcome to SH. This is an awesome place to vent, hear others stories, and find a spine family that really cares and wants to help in any way we can. Everyone here has his/her own story and different issues going on and we are all more than happy to give advice (not professional, we are not a substitute for a doctor, by any means) based on our own person story. Let us know if there is anything we can do! Hang in there.
  • Thank you both for your replies. It gives me piece of mind that I am justified to want to hunt down answers, or confirm answers I have obtained so far as well thought out and reasonable.

    I will be going to see a neuroligist for another opinion. Thank you SO MUCH for the support!
  • thank you for writing these symptoms involving jaw and neck pain. I recently started to have symptoms with my jaw, after numerous years with cervical problems. I was diagnosed with bone spur , at C-3 with spondylosis. I have also had a fusion at c-4/5. I feel validated that others have this same problem, and all with c-3 identified. I have explained these symptoms to doctors, however they have never confirmed the pain is generating from c-3.

  • I also have problems in my neck with cord compression at C3/4 and C4/5. I also get TMD pain.
    I was sent to a neurologist to rule out MS because of all my symptoms at various different levels.

    He told me that if I want to see anyone about the TMD I should not let anyone other than a Maxillofacial surgeon touch it.

    I had assumed that the pain in my left jaw and side of face was due to clenching my teeth when in bed as I turned over and got painful spasms. My dentist told me that I had suffered the same pains in 2008. I had forgotten all about this, but it was when I really started to have back pain.

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