Symptoms are the physical or mental features you experience as a result of a condition or disease.
Many symptoms can be involved in Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. The most common are:
- Headaches (located anywhere).
- Pain in the temple area.
- Pain in and around the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) area.
- Back pain, shoulder pain, or stiffness in the neck.
- Limited movement and opening of the jaw.
- Earaches and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
- Clicking, popping or a “gravelly” sound (crepitus) in the temporomandibular joints.
- Dizziness (vertigo).
Where do symptoms come from?
Your body is constantly adapting to changes in your environment. Each of us faces environmental and genetic stressors each day, and our bodies must compensate in order to maintain health. These stressors come from a variety of sources, some beginning even before birth, while others appear later in life. Each disturbance to your body system must be adjusted for to maintain balance and function. This constant adaptation requires energy and body resources. At some point, your body will reach its threshold. Symptoms appear when your individual capacity is overreached.
Why didn’t I have these symptoms before?
Symptoms are directly related to the amount of physical and mental stress we encounter day to day. These stressors usually have a cumulative effect. Even short-lived stress can accumulate over time. In addition, your body’s restorative resources will vary depending on your health and lifestyle. What does this mean for you? At any time, your own individual adaptive capacity may change. For you, symptoms may not have been present because your body was keeping up with adaptive changes needed to maintain proper function. However, now your limit has been reached, or your capacity reduced, sending your health into a downward spiral of pain and discomfort. Sometimes, it may only take a small trigger to send you over the edge.
How long will symptoms last?
Symptoms last as long as your body’s stress is beyond its ability to compensate. Chronic conditions may develop when symptoms are allowed to remain long-term. This makes resolution of symptoms more complex because the effect on adaptive capacity is more lasting. Early intervention will typically provide quicker recovery times. However, each individual is unique in both adaptive and restorative capacity, and resolution of symptoms will vary greatly between individuals. Age, quality of sleep, body chemistry, nutrition, immune function, and general health will each have an effect on our adaptive and restorative capacity.