Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sprained Neck

I suppose that the car accident injured me a little bit more than I thought. Apparently, in the collision, I sprained my neck--like whiplash but, not. The muscles in my neck are really tense, tight, just not good. The strain in my neck is severely affecting my TMJ, which is usually a disorder involving the mandibular joint (the joint of your jaw). I have been having pain in my ear canals, the kind of pain you usually get when you have an ear infection. Then, my head is tilted. Tilted, you know, like when someone cocks their head at you. Tense neck muscles, cause the head tilt, which also causes jaw muscle strain. The muscles in my neck, that are in very close vicinity of the muscles and nerves by my ear canal, are so tense they are causing that ear infection pain.

After discussing all of those pains that I have been having, with my PM&R doctor, she gave me a few referrals to a physical therapist. Who knew that there are physical therapists geared toward neck, jaw, face, etc. muscles, joints and health? I was surprised.

When I saw the physical therapist, she explained the reasons I'm experiencing those pains (as I typed out in the first paragraph). There are exercises to do in order to relax those muscles and "retrain" them to sit in appropriate posture (no head tilt, greater range of head turning movement, etc.). I am amazed, two appointments with her and one day doing at home exercises and my posture is better/improved and the pain has subsided.

Who knew that such a tiny (to me) injury could affect so much? Who knew that with subtle exercises and changes, my pain and posture are improved? Freaking amazing.

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