German researchers reviewed more than 4000 patients for mood disorders and TMJ pain. They found that those with depression and anxiety suffered from greater rates of TMJ, or temporomandibular joint. This first large scale study of its kind appears in The Journal of Pain . Depression and anxiety consistently appear as a common condition among fibromyalgia patients, so it seems likely that some of you out there might be experiencing TMJ pain. Talking to your doctor is the crucial first step to treating this issue.
“The investigators found that depressive symptoms were more strongly related to joint pain than muscle pain, and that anxiety symptoms were linked with muscle pain. The authors explained that depressive and anxiety symptoms may initiate muscular hyperactivity followed by muscle abnormality and altered muscle mechanics, which can cause inflammation and muscle pain. They also suggested TMD might be related to abnormal pain stimuli processing caused by imbalances in the neurotransmitters serotonin and catecholamines. So, TMD pain might reflect physical manifestation of anxiety or depression.
In support of previous published research, the authors concluded there is a strong to moderate relationship between symptoms of depression or anxiety and signs of TMD.”
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