Chronic pain is a phenomenon that has become a part of the lives of many Americans. Chronic pain is widely found in women, especially those who are older, but the condition can affect anyone at any given time. Additionally, chronic pain is a broad condition and often gets disregarded and improperly treated (if treated at all). The problem lies within the fact that chronic pain can be caused by all sorts of underlying diseases and disorders that often go undetected.

Top Causes of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain affects 42 to 50 million Americans according to the American Pain Foundation. Although there are decades of research regarding chronic pain, it still remains widely misunderstood and difficult to control. A survey conducted by the American Pain Foundation found that even with comprehensive treatment and painkillers, on average, only 58% of people find some relief from chronic pain.

woman suffering from jaw pain

Some of the top causes of chronic pain can trace back to injuries, serious infections, and surgical incisions. For some, there is no clear cause of chronic pain. Most cases of chronic pain are related to the following conditions.

Chronic back pain including:

  • Slipped or bulging discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Compression fractures
  • Soft-tissue damage
  • Spinal fractures
  • Structural deformities including scoliosis

Chronic headaches including:

  • Tension headaches
  • Eye strain headaches
  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches
  • Chronic joint pain including:
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Tendinitis
  • Repetitive motion injury

Chronic nerve pain including:

  • Sciatica
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Postherpetic neuralgia
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Other causes of chronic pain include:

As you can see, there are a number of conditions that can cause chronic pain, and for some, there is no known cause—they simply just suffer from chronic pain.

How Chronic Pain Affects Men Vs Women

Chronic pain in men and chronic pain in women is much different. For instance, studies show that women are more prone to suffering from chronic pain than men. One of these reasons is because women are more prone to experiencing musculoskeletal pain including lower back pain, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, and scoliosis. Women have a higher risk of developing these conditions than men. Additionally, women experience more abdominal pain, pelvic pain, and headache conditions than men. Women are also more likely to experience TMJ disorders than men.

Not only is it more common for women to experience chronic pain than men, but they’re also less likely to experience pain relief. Another study looked at chronic pain treatment in both men and women and found that fewer women felt a reduction in pain from treatment.

How Can TMJ Cause Chronic Pain?

Take TMJ disorder for instance. The condition occurs when the jaw joint is not in its proper location. Many people aren’t aware of this condition. Instead, they just think they’re clenching or grinding their teeth. With TMJ disorders, somehow the joint becomes misaligned which can cause a plethora of problems, including constant jaw pain, neck pain, facial pain, tinnitus, and even migraine-strength headaches.

TMJ disorder occurs when there is some sort of misalignment or imbalance within the jaw. The imbalance is usually a result of bite problems (malocclusion). To address the bite problem, the body tries to fix the problem on its own by attempting to reposition the jaw into a more ideal location. While this is the main focus of TMJ treatment, when the body attempts to realign the jaw, the muscles, tendons, and nerves connected to the jaw joint are all impacted. This unconscious attempt to relocate the jaw can cause all sorts of pressure and strain, not only on the jaw joint, but all of the other body parts connected to it.

TMJ can often be traced back to high stress levels and depression. Some medications for depression list bruxism as a side effect that may increase the likelihood of developing a TMJ disorder.

The body will continue to attempt to reposition the jaw which means that the painful symptoms correlated with TMJ disorder will continue. Only proper treatment can stop the pain associated with TMJ from coming back. 

Get TMJ Treatment in Spokane

If chronic pain is a problem in your life, TMJ may be the cause of it. Suffering from neck pain, jaw pain, headaches, and worn down teeth are all symptoms of TMJ disorder. Come to Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins to discover if an imbalance within your jaw joint is the true cause of your chronic pain. With proper TMJ treatment, your pain will disappear and your quality of life will improve greatly! Just a few weeks after receiving your TMJ treatment, your condition will improve and your symptoms will begin to go away.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to chronic pain and TMJ and get your quality of life back, call Collins Dentistry & Aesthetics at (509) 532-1111, to schedule a TMJ consultation.