It is very common for us to see new TMJ and Headache Patients during the holiday season. If the problem is relate to the TMJ, the teeth , the jaw muscles why does this happen?
There are many things associated with the holidays that can exacerbate your pain. First, our schedules and life style changes, we eat different, our sleep schedule changes and we often spend great deal of time with families. Very often old conflicts that have never been resolved rise to the surface. Chronic trigger points in muscles are often connected to emotional memories in our brain.
Sometimes when we do trigger point injections old repressed memories are remembered, often coming with the full emotional effect of when the problems initiated. The same happens when we stir up old memories and emotions and they activate old trigger points.
Trigger Points can be active or latent. The active trigger points cause referred pain. Emotional conflict or upset can turn on our latent trigger points making them active. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, muscle overuse and allergies are other factors that can make latent trigger points become active.
Many people will clench or grind their teeth when under high stress. Like it or not being with family can be stressful. The clenching and grinding can push us into a state of pain while previously our resistance kept the pain below threshold levels.