If you are a coach, you know that yelling is an inevitable part of your job. Even if you are a mild mannered person, there are times you have to raise your voice simply to be heard due to noise of the fans, or due to physical distance from your athletes.
Over time, pain may develop in your jaw. There are many causes for pain in your jaw ranging from arthritis, to genetics. As a coach, first suspect for the cause of any jaw discomfort is excessive yelling.
The jaw joint is called the temporomandibular joint. That is a mouthful for the average layperson and has been shortened to the more commonly used TMJ. TMJ is made up of the bones just below and just above the mouth. The job of the TMJ is to allow the mouth to open and close for eating, talking, yelling, etc. It isn’t hard to imagine why the TMJ is possible the most used joint in the human body.
Jaw pain can occur on either the left, right, or both sides of the jaw. The causes of jaw pain are varied and can include joint strain, fractures, and dislocation. Symptoms of TMJ disorders include:
- Pain while chewing
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw
- Facial pain
- Joint locking, making it hard to open or close mouth
- Pain in one or both sides of jaw
- A “popping” sensation
- Tooth pain
The good news is that most cases of TMJ disorders are temporary and the accompanying pain and discomfort can be relieved with home treatment and non-surgical solutions.
The first step is to visit a TMJ specialist because of the many symptoms that surround the disorder. You will want to know for sure what your diagnosis is. The TMJ specialist will be able to confirm any problems with your TMJ, and be able to help you work out a plan to treat the problem.
In some cases, TMJ disorders can heal on their own. In cases where some assistance is required, there are several options available that are non-surgical. Your doctor may recommend for than one of the options for the best results.
There are several medications that can help while healing from a TMJ disorder. Your doctor may recommend an over the counter anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. These medicines will not have any steroids, and will be an important part of dealing with the pain and discomfort. Another medicine your doctor might recommend is Tricyclic antidepressants. While the discomfort may get you down, the purpose of the antidepressants is as a pain reliever because of the ingredient amitriptyline.
There are also jaw exercises your TMJ specialist may recommend in conjunction with medication. In most cases TMJ disorders can be resolved at home without any surgery. As a coach, you can’t exactly cease yelling. The risk of strain or injury to your jaw is an occupational hazard, and can be treated.