locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Have a question about a symptom, procedure, medication, diagnosis, research, or coping? Ask questions and share what you know with others

Moderator: pmaxwell

locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby dizzy » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:40 pm

Hi, my syrinx is located c-5 to t-7 and I have noticed now if I look up too long or use a hammer my vision will be affected within an hour with flashing lights as if a migrane is coming, on it will last as long as an hour but no pain. I have to be careful with the way I sleep as well and to make sure my neck is not tilted back so a fuffy pillow is a big no no. Now my jaw is loking more and more everyday, with no health insurance seeing a dr is delayed. Has anyone else have or had this happen? I was told I could have borderline Chiari but not sure. My neck has been very sore and to the point I dont want to move it.
dizzy
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:11 pm

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby karenb » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:29 am

I use a hammer quite a lot, and have never experienced the flashing lights and such... then again, I only have SM (T6-T9) with no Chiari, so I'll defer to others...

You didn't mention whether you've had any neck injuries before - if so, that could be coming back to haunt you again (possibly the flashing lights causing some muscle tension... necks are amazingly delicate) or you might be developing arthritis associated with the old injury (grrrrr....). When my neck feels sore (which is a great deal of the time), I use a buckwheat heat pack - it provides nice, gentle, slightly moist heat that can be very soothing. I also have some basic neck exercises that I do in the shower to help my neck relax - nothing major, just simple movements that help a lot.

I've had trouble with my jaw locking for years - in my case it's TMJ associated with the type of braces & orthodontic treatment I had, plus a car wreck back in 1993... plus tension (the flashing lights & pain could be increasing your tension level right now, and it could be affecting your jaw while you sleep). I would suggest trying a basic "bite splint" that you can get at the drug-store (I've seen them at the local Walgreen's for about $10) - it's just a simple thing to keep you from grinding your teeth at night and to help your jaw relax. TMJ also responds well to gentle heat in the jaw area.

Now for a caveat... if your flashing lights are related to Chiari, the heat may not help your pain and may make your symptoms worse. If it turns out that the heat makes the flashing or the pain worse, you might want to try cold instead.

I hope this gives you at least a bit of relief.

Karen
karenb
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 9:41 pm
Location: Las Cruces, NM

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby dizzy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:14 am

Karen, thanks for the info, there has been no injuries to the neck so andI really enjoy a hot pack ! but its true, it stirs up more problems so cold is the best. I know the past 3 years it is getting worse and there is some arthritis there. We did roll our car last year but there were no changes from that. ( just a very slow roll, we were only going 30 mph and there was 3 ft of snow in ditch.)
dizzy
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:11 pm

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby gunflint » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:53 pm

The flashing lights (Optical Migraine) was the final straw for my GP. He told me at that point that there was defiantly something neurological going on. That lead to my cervical MRI and finally to my syrinx discovery. The first one I had was in his waiting room. Scared the bejeesus out of me because I didn't know what it was. I had 3 total but haven't had one since my decompression surgery. You never read about optical migraines when researching CM/SM symptoms. I have a question for you Dizzy. For the last several years when I close my eyes to go to sleep I occasionally see beautiful colors instead of just black. I talked to a neurologist and the group at NIH about it and they think I'm crazy. I wondered if that has happened to you?
Last edited by gunflint on Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
gunflint
 
Posts: 266
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:10 am
Location: Duluth Mn

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby karenb » Thu Feb 09, 2012 9:47 am

Gunflint,

Thank you for sharing the info from your experience. Did you ever have jaw locking?

Dizzy,

It definitely sounds like something neurological is going on, especially since heat causes more problems. The jaw locking might still be related to your jaw getting extra stress from everything else that is going on - I know that I tend to clench my teeth when in pain. (I sometimes where my bite splint / mouth guard during the day when I'm in a lot of pain.)

It sounds like you're at the point where you do need to see a specialist about what's going on. Do you have anyone you're comfortable with?

Karen
karenb
 
Posts: 645
Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 9:41 pm
Location: Las Cruces, NM

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby dizzy » Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:34 pm

Thanks Karen and Gunflint, not sure what is going on, today I noticed problems with speech and forming words and cant close mouth all the way. Dont know what to do now. Financially we are in a tough spot. I do take a muscle relaxer and tried a double dose ( with Drs ok) but hasnt helped.
Gunflint> I havent experianced any colors just boomerange shaped flashing lights.
dizzy
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:11 pm

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby phyrehawke » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:22 pm

The "lockjaw" is probably TMJ, but probably not for the normal reason (bad bite). In my experience, a syrinx can get those TMJ muscles tensed up when it's "upset". Muscle relaxers can help but it can take a serious dose to get it under control at first if it's that bad. If it's not important to use the hammer, or tip your head back, I would be avoiding those activities until the inflammation improves. If you are a carpenter by trade...well...I am so sorry!
There's also the possibility that you cut yourself on a rusty nail and your DPT shot is overdue. If you start running a fever you'll know it's tetanus, which is comparatively cheap to fix.
Rozanne/phyre
"A path of awakening would never suggest that we should be a passive and unwitting spectator of our own repeated disasters, but should turn the power of our attention to untangle the web of complexity." Christina Feldman
phyrehawke
 
Posts: 628
Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 3:23 pm
Location: Southern CA

Re: locking jaw and seeing flashes of light

Postby dizzy » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:21 pm

I am not a carpenter but do work in assembly and now realizing how much I need to restrict activities. I did have a tetenus shot a few months back which I always have a reaction to also. My neck pain has been getting worse and I know as far as sleeping I need to have the flatest pillow possible or my neck problem gets worse. The Dr claim borderline Chiari , could that get worse or show up later?
dizzy
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 03, 2011 8:11 pm


Return to All About Chiari, Syringomyelia, and Related Disorders

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron