TMJ disorder affects millions of people, who must cope with a host of trying symptoms, including difficulty chewing, ringing in the ears and chronic pain. For many, consistent pain can make life extremely unpleasant and even limit their ability to function at work or in social situations. Desperate for relief, some rely on drugs that could potentially affect their future health. That said, new research indicates that at least one non-medicinal strategy could help reduce the effects of pain in certain circumstances.
A Calm, Relaxed Mind
Research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison indicates that people may be able to utilize a certain form of meditation to alleviate pain. To reach their findings, researchers separated a group of subjects into two separate groups: one consisting of novice meditators and another consisting of expert level meditators. Once subjected to pain, all participants practiced a form of mediation called Open Presence, which is supposed to help the mind better accept unpleasantness. In the end, the study showed that mediation did help subjects better cope with pain; however, it was far less effective on novice meditators.
What if You Have Temporomandibular Disorder?
Although this research suggests that Open Presence meditation may have the ability to assist with pain tolerance; the results aren’t particularly convincing. In the end, meditation didn’t seem to help participants unless they were in the expert-level group. According to researchers, to reach this level, subjects must have already tallied over 10,000 hours of meditation experience: an unrealistic achievement for the average person who suffers from TMJ.
On the other hand, a reliable treatment for temporomandibular disorder can permanently relieve TMJ pain by fixing a bad bite. Dr. Berry can offer very real pain relief by providing a bite splint. To learn more, contact his office or call the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado at (303) 691-0267 to schedule your consultation.