TMJ disorders involve the temporomandibular joint which is located on both sides of your mouth directly below your ears. You use these joints every time you move your jaw. In fact, you use your jaw more than any other joint in your body. Every time you speak, swallow, and eat you engage your jaw joints. This equals approximately 3,000 jaw movements each day.
People who have TMJ frequently suffer from TMJ headaches which are triggered when there is some problem or inflammation with the joint. The muscles around the joint can restrict to the point it is painful to open your mouth. Carisoprodol is commonly used to treat associated pain and to relax the jaw joint muscle.
You can use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen to reduce the pain caused by TMJ flare-ups. Because the pain is frequently caused by inflammation, a general pain reliever may not be sufficient. You want a pain reliever with anti-inflammatory properties. The pain can be so intensive that you may experience nausea or blurred vision. Aspirin can reduce the inflammation which will help alleviate the pain.
You may also need to treat the tight muscles around the joint. It is possible to experience "lock jaw" with extreme bouts of TMJ. Muscle relaxants can help with this situation. However, if it lasts for an extended period of time or interferes with your ability to eat, you should seek medical attention. In some cases, a shot of muscle relaxant may have to be injected directly into the jaw muscle.
If you still have a headache after taking the muscle relaxant, you may need to take a pain reliever. It is best to take a general pain killer that does not treat inflammation. Treating symptoms you do not have can cause or increase nausea or dizziness. You also risk irritating your stomach or developing an ulcer when you take too much pain medication.
TMJ can cause long-term suffering. It makes it difficult to work and socialize. You may have difficulty sleeping or need to sleep sitting up to keep pressure off your jaw. In addition to treating flare-ups, it may be necessary to take maintenance drugs. Small doses of Carisoprodol can be used daily to reduce flare-ups so you can get on with your life. Be careful when using Carisoprodol because you can quickly build a tolerance to the drug.