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Play That Funky Music

March 13, 2011

Sometimes it is a quick fix.

I met with Brandon, a college student, who had been diagnosed with TMD, Tempora Mandibular Disorder, which was believed to be the cause of jaw pain and headaches. The medical recommendation was TMJ surgery. Brandon’s mother brought him to me “just to see if there’s something else that could be done.”  His mother was a student of mine and knew enough to ask for another opinion.

I put Brandon through several tests. I found numerous trigger points in his neck and shoulders that ALL referred pain to his jaw, which was his chief complaint. Working on those trigger points relieved pain. All of this was done without ever touching his jaw!

What was causing this particular set of symptoms and pain? The grouping of muscles with the trigger points seemed odd to me, so I did further investigating about ergonomics and posture. I decide to put each muscle that housed a trigger point into a shortened, contracted position.

  • Right trapezius elevated shoulder and rotated head to opposite side
  • Right cervical multifidus rotated cervical spine to opposite side
  • Right pectoralis major medially rotated the right shoulder
  • Left infraspinatus ands teres minor laterally rotated the left shoulder
  • Right SCM rotated face downward and to the left

As I moved Brandon’s body into the position that was consistant with the trigger points that I found, his pose started taking shape into something familiar to me.

“Do you play guitar”?” I asked.
“”Yes, I teach it as well”,” Brandon said.
““Are you looking at your fret hand as you play”?” I asked.
“”Yes”,” he answered, beginning to understand.
“”Well, Brandon, quit looking at your hand when you play”!” I said.

We talked more about ergonomics and posture.  Lengthend the short muscles.  Stretching for homework.  Momma and therapist , Cathy Trapp, LMT, will take it from here.

No more pain. Surgery was not needed.

“Brandon, what in your jaw were they going to cut on anyway”?

“Ahh, I really dont know”.

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