Temporomandibular disorder affects numerous Americans, who are forced to endure a myriad of unpleasant symptoms, including tinnitus, difficulty chewing and chronic pain. For many, this latter symptom can make life unbearable and limit their ability to enjoy things most of us take for granted. To combat their pain, some turn to pain medications that could impact their health down the road. That said, a new study suggests that one non-medicinal remedy could prove useful in certain situations.
The Power of the Mind
A study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that people may be able to use meditation to help them cope with chronic pain. In conducting their study, researchers selected subjects to populate two groups: one made up of expert level meditators and a second made up of novice meditators. After they were subjected to pain, all participants engaged in a type of meditation called Open Presence, which aims to help the mind accept pain. Ultimately, researchers found that meditation did prove somewhat effective at alleviating pain; however, it was far more effective for subjects in the expert-level group
Will it Apply to TMJ Disorder?
While this study may indicate that meditation could prove useful at helping people cope with pain; the results aren’t overwhelming. First of all, meditation didn’t offer significant relief to subjects unless they had reached a so-called expert level, which required more than 10,000 hours of meditation experience. For the average person, this would represent an astounding investment of time for what would likely be only moderate pain relief.
On the other hand, a proven TMJ remedy can permanently alleviate pain associated with temporomandibular disorder by adjusting a misaligned bite. Dr. Siegel can provide these sorts of results using a bite splint. To learn more, contact his office today.