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Eagle Syndrome - Online Support Group

Talking hurts!

After a week of teaching my jaws are so painful and aching…kind of like a sinus infection feeling in my mouth, gums, jaws and chin. I have to talk and talking increasing the problem. Help.

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You might need some kind of medication that's used for facial pain. If possible, ask a pain doctor or a neurologist. That can help get you through until you can have a surgery.

The pain meds that seem to help most are anti-seizure drugs like Neurontin & Amitriptyline as these are designed to block nerve pain. They do have some side effects though (I know Neurontin can make you sleepy; not sure about Amitriptyline).

Surgery is the best course of action though as it provides almost immediate relief of the ES symptoms. The post op recovery time is about 2 weeks to be back to somewhat normal functioning. It took about 2 months before I felt totally normal again. The healing timeline is different for each person though.

A non-drug option would be to try icing your jaw in the painful spots (wrap your ice pack in a thin towel or in a t-shirt so the ice isn't right against your skin). Ice for 10-15 min on & at least 20 min. off. If ice doesn't help, try heat. Ice will act like an external anti-inflammatory whereas heat will stimulate circulation. I would think ice would be the better choice but since our symptoms are so diverse, perhaps the conventional pain therapies won't work conventionally. Admittedly, I haven't tried either ice or heat except after surgery.

Keep us posted as to what you find helps you the most. I'll be praying you can find pain relief that is helpful!

:)

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I am going to try ice. If that does not work, then I will use the my heated rice/corn bags.

I have taken many different anti-seizure medications in the past for nerve damage in my leg and the results were terrible so I am not even going to consider those again. I use a Butran patch and hydrocodone for the severed nerve in my leg and they are helpful for my leg, but these medications don't seem to touch the pain in my jaw.

I have an appointment on April 20th and will hopefully get some answers.

Thanks for advice. I can surely use it.


Isaiah 40:31 said:

The pain meds that seem to help most are anti-seizure drugs like Neurontin & Amitriptyline as these are designed to block nerve pain. They do have some side effects though (I know Neurontin can make you sleepy; not sure about Amitriptyline).

Surgery is the best course of action though as it provides almost immediate relief of the ES symptoms. The post op recovery time is about 2 weeks to be back to somewhat normal functioning. It took about 2 months before I felt totally normal again. The healing timeline is different for each person though.

A non-drug option would be to try icing your jaw in the painful spots (wrap your ice pack in a thin towel or in a t-shirt so the ice isn't right against your skin). Ice for 10-15 min on & at least 20 min. off. If ice doesn't help, try heat. Ice will act like an external anti-inflammatory whereas heat will stimulate circulation. I would think ice would be the better choice but since our symptoms are so diverse, perhaps the conventional pain therapies won't work conventionally. Admittedly, I haven't tried either ice or heat except after surgery.

Keep us posted as to what you find helps you the most. I'll be praying you can find pain relief that is helpful!

:)

Lola,

I totally understand how you feel. I do still have one styloid left, & it runs back behind my tongue (I can feel it both in my mouth & in my throat). If I have a long conversation w/ someone, my tongue gets very fatigued, & I have a hard time speaking clearly & my jaw joint, throat & neck hurt. I have had pain in my gums & the roof of my mouth as well. Interestingly, singing is especially uncomfortable. I do sympathize. I'm having my second surgery to remove the remaining styloid on 5/11. I'm counting the minutes!

I may try my own suggestions for pain relief before too long!

:)

Thanks for the suggestions. I used the ice pack on my jaw and it was a temporary relief…only while it was actually on my face! Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to have an ice pack handy as I go through my day at school.

Talking is the most challenging and being a teacher involves lots of it so this whole ordeal is greatly impacting my job. I have not taken any sick leave, yet. I fortunately, have had a student teacher since January, and she does most of the teaching. However, her assignment ends the first of May, and my voice will be needed for 6 hours per day. I am fearful that I will not be able to fulfill my duties. I had hoped to wait until summer break for the surgery (if that is what the doctor recommends), but am not sure that I can actually hold out that long. We do not finish school until June 18th.


Isaiah 40:31 said:

Lola,

I totally understand how you feel. I do still have one styloid left, & it runs back behind my tongue (I can feel it both in my mouth & in my throat). If I have a long conversation w/ someone, my tongue gets very fatigued, & I have a hard time speaking clearly & my jaw joint, throat & neck hurt. I have had pain in my gums & the roof of my mouth as well. Interestingly, singing is especially uncomfortable. I do sympathize. I'm having my second surgery to remove the remaining styloid on 5/11. I'm counting the minutes!

I may try my own suggestions for pain relief before too long!

:)

@Isaiah_40_31 your recommendation for ice has literally given me the most relief I have had in years so thank you, thank you, thank you!

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HOORAY!! I’m so glad the ice is helping. Some people experience the opposite - ice causes pain to increase but heat helps it decrease. Ice worked best for me. Great that you’re reading these old posts. I had forgotten some of my symptoms until I read those older posts in this conversation! See how time heals even our memories (:wink:)?!

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This. I can’t read aloud anymore because it quickly becomes exhausting and painful. Singing is awkward too. If I focus on the (constant) pain in my mouth, tongue, neck and jaw ( I try not to focus on it by distracting myself, by knitting for example, but occasionally the pain ‘backs up on me’) I am aware of a burning sensation down the sides of my tongue and around my lips like I have hot peppers in my mouth. I like spicy food but almost four years of a burning sensation in my mouth is overwhelming. My gums ache around my teeth. I have a cramping sensation under the right side of my tongue. I get a cracking sensation in the right side of my neck sometimes that I can ‘hear’. Even my nose can be affected!

I’m sorry for the variety of symptoms you’re having. I’m better educated now as to which nerves cause which problems. It sounds to me like you’re getting irritation in your trigeminal nerve, hypoglossal nerve, glossopharyngeal nerve & vagus nerve. These all exit the skull & exist in the neck in the area where they styloids & stylohyoid ligaments “live”. Cracking sensations may be related to a cacified or partially stylohyoid ligament. These ligaments connect at the tip of your styloid process & run down to the lesser horns of your hyoid bone. They play a minor role in helping w/ swallowing so are barely missed when removed. When they calcify, they tether the movement of the hyoid bone as you swallow, talk, sing, move your head & even breathe. This can cause pain, clicking &/or cracking sounds during body functions you don’t normally think about like those I mentioned above.

The trigeminal nerve has 3 major branches. When it’s irritated it can cause burning/pain in the gums, teeth, nose, eyes, TM joints, ears, migraine level headaches, etc. Vagus nerve affects vocal cords, heart rate, blood pressure, body temp, & gastrointestinal function among other things. The hypoglossal nerve also affects gums & tongue. Researching the cranial nerves can be very educational when it comes to ES as you can begin to understand which nerves might be irritated by ES & thus causing the symptoms you have. Don’t get over zealous on this though as there is a lot of interconnection between these nerves. The upside is - once the styloids & ligaments are gone the nerves & impinged vascular tissues heal & most symptoms disappear over time.

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That’s great news that I can have surgery. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t imagine life without the pain.

Thank you for your valuable information and also for your understanding, becsuse most people don’t understand, or forget, what I’m experiencing. Living with the pain has become my ‘new normal’, so I don’t mention it usually, and people forget that I’m in pain all the time.

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After surgery you will once again have the opportunity to live life more completely!! Post op recovery is a bit of a journey but surgery is very worthwhile.