It’s been a week for distractions.
It’s been a whole year for distractions, really.
Not even the Eagles being in the Superbowl today is enough to distract her from her TMJ pain.
Distractions form a major pillar in our TMJ pain management strategy, and I think everyone should use them as well.
Pain management is all about finding a way to balance the efforts and risks you put into reducing pain and living your life.
Distractions help improve your life by giving you things to do that you enjoy and reducing the pain you experience by taking your mind off of it (see the study).
Flooding your brain with the happy chemicals of a person enjoying themselves brings actual, physical, pain relief.
But the Eagles playing in today’s game isn’t enough. I can see one side of her cheek swelling, and the clicking is audible from across the couch.
We’ve had to dig deep this week to manage the TMJ pain, and put every trick in our book to use.
More Distractions from TMJ Pain
Photography has been our default distraction since before we learned anything about pain management.
She actually ignited my love for photography. I had never thought it would be something I would enjoy.
But over the last six years of trying to help her get the perfect shot for her I started to fall in love with the process of using a camera to show her what I saw when I looked at her.
Finally she could see through my eyes.
And finally I understood why she loves it so much.
So we use it heavily as a distraction method in our TMJ pain management. We don’t talk about it that way though.
Instead we talk about it as I’ve suggested before: as a way to improve our lives. And we still get the side benefit of pain management by default!
Her TMJ pain has been bad
Most weeks we need one good photo shoot at most, plus incidental pictures for fun along the way.
This week we have done at least one short photo session each day.
And that just goes to show the power of a good distraction method.
We are able to set up a pain management session almost any time and any place.
Her TMJ pain was bad but the sunset was beautiful so I pulled off the highway and found a scenic viewpoint. Ten minutes later we were on our way again with dozens of photos to sort through and edit.
Her TMJ pain stopped until after we got home. The featured photo on this post was taken during this shot.
Her swelling was terrible and it looked like she had small lemons in her cheeks. The jaw pain was intense and she was going to be on a soft foods diet for a few days. An afternoon trip to a place just past a small mountain town brought us hundreds of photos, an entire day of activities.
Her pain was gone when we got back home. She ate jerky that night.
TMJ pain can be effectively reduced with the right distractions
TMJ pain management is more than just massages and medicines. It’s also learning how you can not only live a normal life, but live your best life.
Distractions help you by shifting the time you spend focusing on your pain to time you spend focusing on enjoying yourself. You get a double benefit of not being in noticeable pain, and also actively enjoying yourself and having fun.
So much of your life is spent worrying about your jaw pain, it’s time to shift that thinking to worry about loving your life.
Have you found a great distraction method? Share it in the comments below, or in our facebook group!