An unpleasant affliction that plagues numerous Americans, temporomandibular joint disorder (also called TMJ or TMD) causes a host of symptoms, including tinnitus and difficulty chewing. That said, the vast majority of TMJ sufferers complain about incessant pain that can make life unbearable. In search of relief, many people fall back on prescription and over-the-counter pain medications that could damage their health in the years to come. That said, a recent study seems to indicate that at least one non-medicinal remedy could offer a little relief to people who are willing to invest a lot of time and effort.
It’s All in the Mind…Or is it?
Research reported by University of Wisconsin-Madison seems to indicate that a certain form of meditation could help people better tolerate chronic pain. To reach their findings, researchers recruited a group of expert-level meditators and an additional group of less-experienced, novice meditators.
After subjecting each participant to pain, the researchers asked them to engage in a special type of meditation dubbed Open Presence, which is said to help the mind better tolerate pain. In the end, the study seemed to show that Open Presence did help subjects better cope with pain; however, it was far less effective for inexperienced meditators.
Meditation and TMJ Disorder
While this recent study seems to paint meditation as a potential remedy for chronic pain; it’s not the best option for people who have TMJ disorder. According to the researchers who conducted the study, the only notable results came from the group consisting of expert-level meditators, who had entered the study having already logged more than 10,000 hours of meditation experience. This is probably too much of a time investment for TMJ sufferers who are interested in more than just adequate results that might make them tolerate pain a little better.
Ultimately, TMJ sufferers want a cure for jaw pain and not mental distractions that are supposed to help them live with their afflictions. To learn how a bite splint can permanently relieve TMJ pain by realigning a bad bite, contact our office today.