Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Face Pain (Introduction).

Good morning! I am sitting in our living room watching the sun pop its head over the horizon. All the frost is glinting and the sky looks like Rose flavored Turkish Delight. Mr Finchley, our cat, is over the moon that its spring time and I have a sinking feeling that all the garden birds will have to be on 24 hour patrol to guard their new nests from him. He has started to realize that bird feeders are his equivalent to the Gold Arches ... Fast food for lazy cats!

But it is an introduction to the new subject of Face Pain that I want to write about this morning, not the overwhelming hilarity of watching a kitten skip across an icy garden.

All pain is horrid, but I seem to hear a lot about people with 'Face Pain' at the moment. There is a difference between headaches and the fact that your face hurts. I wrote six blogs about Head And Neck Pain back in 2011, and I would encourage you to read them if you are having a lot of headaches. This set of blogs will be looking more into 'Face Pain' with a look back over headaches at the end. As a precursor to any blog I write about anatomy and pain, I would ask you to read through the Pain Patterns Explained so that you can understand where I am writing from; I'm not here to diagnose, I'm just here to write about how muscles and fascia may have a baring on pain being experienced. You need to see your Medical Practitioner for any pain you may be suffering from so that you can get a full diagnosis and take it from there.

Introducing Gilbert,
 with a close up of his TMJ.
The one thing I notice about people in pain is that the look angry. They aren't necessarily angry at all, but all the tension and constant inner battle that they have so that they can get by on a daily basis means that the tension can often end up in their face, causing a pinched, or angry look to manifest. The tension in the face can then cause secondary issues with the muscles around the eyes, cheeks, chin, throat and upper back setting off muscular based pain patterns.

This is really what I would like to spend our time on over the forthcoming weeks; how to relax the face.

There will be some nerdy anatomy and for that Gilbert will be helping us; he will be all taped up to show you where the muscles are, and I will do my best to guide you in ways to help yourself at home in-between your massage sessions. We will spend the next blog looking at the Temporomandibular Joint, also known as the 'TMJ'. This small joint can have far reaching effects and if we want to start easing the face out then it is a fantastic point to start from.

I'm really looking forward to looking into this subject with you as I think it is one that is rarely talked about as headaches seem to take over in priority sometimes. I remember in my anatomy course that the muscles of the face were only glanced over in relation to how much time we spent looking at muscles that caused headaches. I think for that reason I spent a lot of time researching face pain for myself out of class time as I was curious to find out about a subject that got little notice taken of it. We have so many tiny muscles in the face that we shouldn't be surprised that they have grumpy days and start moaning at us.

Enjoy your day and I hope that it is light, bright and full of hope; both actual and metaphorical!

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