This is topic Topical creams for facial/neck/head pain. in forum General Support at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by jennyflyer (Member # 12792) on :
This may sound silly to even ask because I think I already know the answer, but can such topical creams for pain like Biofreeze be applied to the face, neck and head?

That is where the majority of my pain is and it's excruciating. I've used such creams/gels on my arms, knees, and back and it does provide temporary relief.

Posted by Keebler (Member # 12673) on :
First, I'd avoid all creams with any petroleum product.

A Magnesium solution an be applied topically. It's not an oil, but it's called magnesium oil. that may help.

you can search Google for topical magnesium - and for past threads on "magnesium oil" - GiGi posted one of those in the past few months

Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
we use a lotion by deborah's collection called cineol lotion.

in fact mike uses it practically every night as he has damaged discs in his neck.

smells like peppermint. costs about oh 15 bucks i think but it lasts a very long time.
Posted by jennyflyer (Member # 12792) on :
Thanks very much for the suggestions. I remember a while back seeing a PBS program about topical capsaicin for chronic pain, but I dont know that putting an extract from a hot pepper on my neck or face seems all that appealing. [Smile]

At this point I would shell out $100 for even a small tube of something if it will help. Tired of popping Ibuprofen every day.
Posted by Gahagan (Member # 21194) on :
Jenny, I had the worst pain in my life a few months ago when I was experience TMJ and Bite dysfunction. My face, head, jaw, all my teeth, neck and even my shoulder hurt beyond belief. Seriously, it was so bad I would not have been able to continue living, had I not found a doctor to help me.

If yours isn't that bad yet, I suspect it will be, if left untreated.

Find a dentist that really knows how to treat TMJ and bite/jaw disorders. I had "gone thru" several dentists. Fortunately for me, a co-worker suggested her dentist, I called him and he fit me in right away. (wow!). He fited me for a "NTI" device. By the next day, though the pain was still there, it was MUCH LESS. Within two days, it was very managable. Within a week-completely gone. Completely. I told him he should wear a cape because he's a super hero. lol

Seriously, before the NTI device, I was literally curled up in a ball sobbing...or rolling around on the bed, head in hands, screaming. It was that bad.

They have since fitted me for another type of device, but it isn't working as well. I need to call to have them adjust it.

Here's a link but you'll probably want to google NTI and TMJ

Let me know if this helps
Posted by merrygirl (Member # 12041) on :
be careful with capsacin. it definitely works, but watch out for your eyes!!

Posted by jennyflyer (Member # 12792) on :
Gahagan, thank you for the advice about TMJ. Unfortunately, the pain has been with me nonstop for a few years now. I had it checked for TMJ about 3 years ago, but the dentist didn't think that's what it was. But it can't hurt to check again.

Melissa, thanks, I'll try it but be careful around the eyes.
Posted by lymeinhell (Member # 4622) on :
Could it be you have trigger point muscle spazms on the back of your head? I say this because of the fact it spreads to your jaw area, top of head, behing the eye.

Take a knuckle, and poke around hard at the bottom or your skull. Find any painful spots you didn't know were there? Typically the spots themselves aren't painful unless you jam something into them, and what you really feel is the referred pain across top of head, jaw, through ear. Physical activity will typically reveal the pain and pulling.

Been there. Done that.

The spasms do NOT go away on their own. They're typically caused by Magnesium depletion, which is caused by Lyme. And no amount of orals will restore your mag levels. IV and IM mag is needed to restore your levels. A series of Trigger point injections (of lidocaine) is needed to get rid of the spazms and restore the blood flow to those areas.
Posted by jennyflyer (Member # 12792) on :
I never thought of that, I'll have my sister jam her knuckles around and see what we find. (she's a nurse so enjoys inflicting pain tee hee)

Is this treatment something a pain mgmt specialist could do? My LLMD does not do any IV therapy and I have not had much luck getting him to guide me with supplements, etc.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
i went to a tmj specialist. first, my insurance didn't pay and second, oh yeah, i got the splint.

cost me 2500 bucks....

i still wear it tho but i honestly don't know if it helps or not.
Posted by jennyflyer (Member # 12792) on :
$2500!!! Holy cow, that is ridiculous.

What does insurance pay for these days...but that's another issue all together.
Posted by Gahagan (Member # 21194) on :
I had dentists who said I had it, treated it, but ineffectively. I had dentists who said I didn't have it and I've had dentists who said "maybe a little."

I also had a dentist tell me I needed a tooth pulled. Which I did. It didn't help. So I was left with the original pain AND a missing tooth.

It is a matter of finding the right dentist. One that is compitent in TMJ AND the muscular dysfunctions related to it.

Let me describe to you WHERE the pain was. (WAS is the operative word here) All my teeth hurt. As for the rest of my head, it was as if you could cut the head directly down the middle; one half felt fine. The other felt HORRIBLE. I was in complete agony. The jaw hurt into the chin, but it stopped exactly at midline. I had pain behind my eye. My NOSE hurt on the same side. My EAR hurt. ALL the muscles on that side of my face, head, neck and shoulder hurt.

I've had mild TMJ for years, but I think the Lyme made it worse. For me, the NTI device saved my life. Seriously...I could not have lived with that kind of ongoing pain.

If you happen to live in the Pittsburgh area, I can give you the name of my dentist. Or...if not, if you'd like, I will ask my dentist for a name of a dentist in your area.

As randibear said, they are expensive, and not always covered under dental insurance. I would have mortgaged my house if I had to. I was in that much pain. Vicodin didn't even begin to help and I was doubling up on any pain reliever I could find and I think I nearly overdosed because I had taken so many different things that I began puking them up. (sorry...don't mean to gross anyone out)

I paid for mine by a line of credit card that is offered for health care. It is called "CareCredit" and you can use it for any kind of health care...even the veterinary. It provides interest free credit for a certain amount of time.

If you want, you could try something home made in the mean time. What causes this particular pain is an incorrect bite. One tooth is hitting before others, and it causes the muscles in the jaw to contantly contract to try to correct the bite. Try holding a piece of cotton between your upper and lower front teeth. The cotton should be thick enough to keep any of your teeth from touching.

Gosh, I wish you could discuss this with my dentist. He explains it so well. It's more than just TMJ....

I'll have to try the mag, too. Maybe it will help with other parts of my body and maybe lessen my dependence on this dental appliance.

I truly hope you feel better soon.
Posted by randibear (Member # 11290) on :
yeah you're right. mine was a good tmj specialist but very expensive.

they wanted me to come in every year for an adjustment which i couldn't do cause my insurance wouldn't pay one cent.

a tmj specialist is a must. and yes i had to make payments on a special credit card they set up in their office.

they said i had actually worn my bottom teeth layer down. the worst pain was right in front of my ears.
Posted by lymeinhell (Member # 4622) on :
Jenny, the pain mgt guy I went to did do trigger point injections. That said, pain mgt guys like steroids (although the never refer to them as steroids - they say anti-inflammatories). I had to fight like heck to get him to only use Lidocaine.

My insurance did pick up payment for a couple rounds of shots and he was able to get approval to continue for several more rounds.
Posted by jennyflyer (Member # 12792) on :
Just an update: I have an appt with a pain mgmt specialist Thur and an appt with my dentist next Tues. HOpefully between the two I'll be able to start getting answers.

The dental office has several doctors and a couple TMJ specialists. As far as insurance, I called my ins co and they cover up to a certain amount so I will probably have to pay out of pocket for some of it, if it turns out to be TMJ disorder.

Thank you again for all your help.

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