I got slightly sick at my stomach when a client told me that she was taking her 15-year-old daughter in to get a second surgery for her TMJ pain. I was a young and new Feldenkrais practitioner and was excited that we were *finally* making progress with her daughter with the individual Feldenkrais sessions that we were doing.
Her pain was going away step-by-step. And she seemed happier and was even sleeping better.
But for reasons. I still do not understand, her mother was scheduling another surgery.
The research on multiple surgeries for TMJ pain is quite clear: they rarely work and can create life-long pain.
According to the National Institute of Health:
Persons undergoing multiple surgeries on the jaw joint generally have a poor outlook for normal, pain-free joint function.
The same can be said for many back pain surgeries such as spinal fusion surgeries. According to the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, a website affiliated with the Harvard Medical School,
“Based on the evidence, the indications for fusion are few and far between, but that doesn’t stop surgeons from doing them or patients from getting them.”
I am not against surgery nor the medical profession, having benefitted tremendously from not one, but two life-changing surgeries (one by a periodontist and another by a urologist). And I have neither the experience nor credentials to go against a doctor’s orders (nor would I do so).
But the over-prescription of surgery and drugs for chronic pain is not only heart-breaking but also offensive when considering that most organizations such as The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and many others that state that most patients do not need aggressive types of treatment and often won’t even benefit from them. And some are left with long-term pain – not from the original issue but from the multiple surgeries!!
Enough talk about problems. Let’s talk about solutions!
Feldenkrais sessions can give you the feedback you need to help your muscles to relax and your body re-organize and move easier so that pain simply does not need to occur…or if it does the symptoms are much reduced.
If you want to explore gentle, non-invasive ways to get rid of pain and to do so without expensive and painful treatments, check out my Easy Feldenkrais pain relief series. It is on sale for a bit longer: