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Health & Medical UnderGround >> Rolling with jaw injury/facemask


1/9/09 9:26 PM
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misterw
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Member Since: 2/1/08
Posts: 72
 
My jaw joint is injured (not from jiu-jitsu) and may well be the sort of thing that doesn't go away very easily. Its basically an inflammation of the jaw joint and surrounding tissue (TMJ disorder).

Have any of you had experience dealing with jaw injuries? I'm thinking of ordering a wrestling headgear/facemask combo that looks like it would offer some protection. Any body ever used one of these?

Here's the link to it: http://www.jrwrestling.com/wrestling-facemask-cliff-keen.html
1/11/09 12:55 AM
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JasonE
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Member Since: 12/28/07
Posts: 133
I've treated many people suffering from various forms of TMJ. Could you provide a little more background on what lead to this problem?

In the mean time, protective headgear seems like a good idea. However, the one you linked to appears to be mainly designed for protecting the nose. I'd inquire about how it is designed for stabilizing and protecting the jaw before placing your order.

For now, avoid any rolling that puts pressure on the jaw or cranks the neck (even gently). Focus on your rehab and work drills to improve other aspects of your game. When the issue is resolved, ease back into rolling.

Hope that helps!
Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com
1/11/09 10:41 AM
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misterw
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Thanks for the reply, Jason.

In my case, the main cause seems to have been grinding/clenching my teeth in my sleep. Had some slight pain when chewing that came and went....then about a year ago it just steadily got worse, to the point where I realized something must be wrong. Doctor has me icing the joint area, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and wearing a mouth piece that prevents damage to the joint. I may have a cortisone shot in the joint area.

I was still rolling originally, but then had a couple of instances where the injury was aggravated -- chokes mainly. I think both of those instances set back my recovery fairly significantly. So now I am just drilling.

The mask I linked to was the only thing that I could find. From the picture, it seemed that it might be padded over the area of the jaw joint, which would definitely help....Have you seen any protective equipment designed for jaw injuries?
1/12/09 2:20 AM
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JasonE
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misterw - Thanks for the reply, Jason.

In my case, the main cause seems to have been grinding/clenching my teeth in my sleep. Had some slight pain when chewing that came and went....then about a year ago it just steadily got worse, to the point where I realized something must be wrong. Doctor has me icing the joint area, taking anti-inflammatory medication, and wearing a mouth piece that prevents damage to the joint. I may have a cortisone shot in the joint area.

I was still rolling originally, but then had a couple of instances where the injury was aggravated -- chokes mainly. I think both of those instances set back my recovery fairly significantly. So now I am just drilling.

The mask I linked to was the only thing that I could find. From the picture, it seemed that it might be padded over the area of the jaw joint, which would definitely help....Have you seen any protective equipment designed for jaw injuries?


I've treated people with very similar TMJ histories. In cases where there is no overt specific causative factor, I usually find a pattern of chronic muscle tension in the chest, neck, shoulders, and head. In most of the cases I've seen, releasing these areas with massage/bodywork can dramatically speed recovery.

The challenge of these cases is that the chronic muscle tension often seems to be a result of habitual patterns of body use, usually including some combination of poor breathing habits, poor sleeping patterns, exercise that promotes excess tension in the affected areas, etc. Long-term relief will most likely require learning some better habits. Because patterns and habits are highly individual, you'll need a good coach/therapist capable of providing the guidance you need to supplement the bodywork. This also means practicing the skills they teach you until they become ingrained... and one day you'll realize that your TMJ hasn't bothered you for weeks or months.

I recommend starting with the manual therapy, with a good massage therapist certified in Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT), Orthopedic massage, and ideally some form of positional release and/or fascia release methods. If you can't find an NMT, someone highly skilled in Trigger Point therapy and Muscle Energy Technique would do. Expect 4-8 sessions of 1+ hours each, ideally spaced 1-2 weeks apart.

In between sessions, I'd work with a trainer and/or movement therapist to learn appropriate stretching (I prefer Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)), breathing, and other skills as recommended. Someone skilled in Circular Strength Training, Alexander Technique, AIS, and/or some other form of somatic education could really help.

Something else worth consideration: several highly skilled and respected Physical Therapists and Chiropractors have told me there is usually a cervical component to TMJ. If the cervical issue is treated appropriately, TMJ resolves more quickly. So you may want to get a good PT or chiro to take a look at your neck before you try any injections. Combined with the massage and training suggestions above, you might become TMJ-free and stay that way.

Hope that helps!
Jason Erickson
www.CSTMinnesota.com

PS - I've used faced protection for boxing, but never for grappling. Sorry I can't recommend any gear specifically for jaw injuries.

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