People often say that the pain they feel every day is all in the mind. According to a recent study published in the journal Pain, people may have the ability to train themselves how to block their daily pain from their minds, giving them less discomfort during the day and better quality of sleep at night.

The study, led by Luis F. Buenaver, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, observed a neurological pathway that connects a person’s negative emotions about their physical pain to their poor sleeping patterns, increasing physical pain the following day. Research has shown that 80 percent of chronic pain sufferers also experience poor sleeping patterns.

The study observed 214 women with a mean age of 34 who had previously tested and diagnosed with myofascial temporomandibular disorder. Participants of the study were asked to complete a questionnaire analyzing pain levels, depression, quality of sleep and emotional responses to their TMJ pain. Research later found that women experiencing a negative emotional response to their chronic pain also exhibited poor sleeping habits, ultimately feeling terrible pain the following morning.

Treatment Is a Better Alternative

The behavior study concluded that sufferers of chronic pain relating to TMJ disorder can use CBT counseling to better control negative feelings toward their pain. This type of counseling is believed to relieve stress and anxiety relating to physical pain, allowing sufferers to not only feel less pain, but also to sleep better through the night.

Though thinking positively may relieve stress relating to chronic pain, treatment is always a better alternative if you experience pain daily or if it continues to worsen. TMJ pain, for example, occurs when the bite is misaligned, allowing the jaw to wear heavily on the jaw muscles. This wear can also cause strain in the neck and back muscles, create chronic headaches and inner ear aches. To eliminate pain caused by TMJ disorder, treatment by a TMJ dentist is necessary.

Your pain does not need to be permanent. Instead of concentrating on positive thoughts, call or email the Craniofacial Diagnostic Center or call (303) 691-0267 today. today if you are suffering from chronic pain due to TMJ disorder. We may have a treatment option that will work for you.