by Lyn

Namaste Sarah, I would appreciate your advice in how best to manage a TMJ issue. I am a 54 year old female that has a rotation and tilt in the pelvis with mild scoliosis. I have constant tension from sacrum to C1 with centralised pain and restriction in lower thoracics, neck and shoulder, all worse on the right side, now magnified by fibromyalgia. I became aware of lower back discomfort in my late teens and it has progressed slowly throughout my life. I have maintained by mobility well throughout with good nutrition, osteopathic treatments, yoga, massage, cycling and meditation, no medical intervention with the exception of occasional over the counter pain relief. Ten years ago I had surgery removing the right lobe of my thyroid which was cancerous. The nodule was large and had been pushing on the trachea for some years prior causing gradual adjustments to my neck alignment to accommodate the mass, in particular tilting the head back and to the right. During the post surgery years the tilt has remained with the head feeling drawn back and to the right by tension down the neck to the thoracics (plough pose is one of my favourites for relief). Two years ago I did some Feldenkrais and became aware of tension in my jaw which has progressed with constant discomfort and I am now experiencing distressing changes in the alignment of my bite. This period of time has been very stressful from other life factors including dental work and the discovery of periodontal disease causing me to eat mainly on the left side of my mouth which is where much of the pain/discomfort in my jaw emanates from. Any insights would be very much appreciated.

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May 06, 2014
My experience with Fibromyalgia, Scoliosis and TMJ
by: Lesley

Hi Lyn

My name is Lesley and I've been a patient of Sarah's since 2006 and have helped her build this website. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia about 1.5 years ago. I also have a mild scoliosis and just before I found out I had fibro, I had started to get TMJ too.

I have to say, that Sarah's treatments and back block are what kept me going over the years and probably kept me out of a wheelchair. I can't recommend Sarah and her other trained physios too highly, and if you can get to Sydney for a treatment I would definitely do it.

I have also found a treatment called Guaifenesin, which I talk about in an article I wrote for Sarah's other website -

I wrote that article quite soon after going on the treatment. I've now been on it over a year, and it has been amazing. My TMJ disappeared very quickly, and I've also got rid of my muscle stiffness and most of my pain. Still got a way to go, but things are improving dramatically, and Sarah has really noticed a change in the texture of my muscles.

There is a book about Guaifenesin, it was discovered by a doctor who had Fibromyalgia in the USA (he's now 87 and still treating patients!), which you'll find on the link I mention above. There is also a Facebook group

There are a few of us Aussies on there. I'd be happy to chat to you more about it, either here on this site or over on Facebook. Good luck. Lesley

May 06, 2014
by: Sarah says

Hello Lyn
You seem to be doing all that I would want you to do in dealing with this ~ what with yoga and meditation and everything else. However, it is often rather difficult bringing out a problem TMJ. Not only do you seem to have a slight twist in your spine but the previous problems before surgery would have pushed your neck slightly awry. Bear in mind that the masseter muscle of your jaw that you use while chewing, is the strongest power to weight muscle in the human body, so any anomaly of balance over time through the neck and lower head will take a while to come undone. I am not surprised that you are helped as much as you are by the 'plough' exercise since this is stretching our very effectively the back of your neck. I would like you to do another couple of exercises but I hope you don't think this is a naked plug for one of my books!! The 'neck' section in 'Body in Action' will help you greatly I believe, particularly the exercises in Pages 107-109 - in effect, taking your head and neck to the extremes of both side flexion and extension. You can buy this book on Amazon, which is far cheaper and quicker than getting it from us.

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