aswim in knits

Monday, September 15, 2008

this week's edition of ask the internets

Hey, I'm back from vacation. More details to follow -- re-entry is tough. If I owe you an email, I'm getting to it, I promise.

In the meantime, I thought I'd throw out a few questions for the advice of all the wise people out there in online-land.

1) Does anyone know of a good *free or inexpensive* sound editing software that runs on a Mac? I'm mixing music for the kids I coach, and my version of my old software is for a PC. Here's the kicker -- I need to be able to import and manipulate stuff I buy from iTunes, and many programs make that impossible.

2) Any words of advice for treating TMJ pain? I've had a delightful earache for the past three weeks as a result of clenching/grinding my teeth. I think it's a stress response, but I'm very confused about why the pain didn't show up until after grad school - aren't I less stressed now than I was for the previous 15 months?

The site linked above describes me perfectly, including the part about NSAIDs not really working well. Those 800mg tabs of ibuprofin? Nothing useful there. The NP prescribed Percocet, but I haven't filled the script, as Percocet makes me a little loopy. Ahem.

I have a nightguard fitted by the dentist, but it makes the problem worse rather than better. Chiropractic treatment is showing some promise. I'm going to see a naturopathic doctor later this week. I'm leery of acupuncture (fear of needles) but if someone out there tells me that their brother-in-law's accountant's wife was successfully treated this way, I might try that too. Anything else I'm missing?



  • I had a mild case of this a while back. Warmth helped, like putting hot wet washcloths on the sore places (for me, up by my ears). A fancy mouth guard wasn't covered by my insurance, so I bought a fifteen dollar boxer's guard at a sporting good store, which also helped. Not sure if it would be any better for you, but at least you wouldn't lose much money trying it...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:32 AM  

  • I use garageband (comes with the Mac, no?) and it's basic, but gets the job done. I don't know anything about TMJ, hope you do get some relief!

    By Blogger bockstark.knits, at 1:00 AM  

  • Re: the TMJ- it was the tmj specialist who sent me to the mind body clinic I wrote to you about regarding the sleeplessness post. He also sent me to a fabulous physical therapist- the two combined got rid of the headaches and the grinding. Physical therapist said- click your tongue frequently through out the day. He gave me a bunch of other exercises as well but those were for neck/shoulder tension, do you have that or is it more just the mouth?

    By Blogger Julie, at 6:31 AM  

  • Well, my brother-in-law's accountant's wife didn't have acupuncture for TMJ, but I did. I suffered for over 4 years with TMJ problems and tried EVERYthing. The needles really don't hurt, but the treatment provided very temporary relief for me. I had to go a couple times a week. I started out with a nightguard fitted by my dentist adn it made mine worse too. I suggest you go to see an oral surgeon - a good one will only suggest surgery as a last resort. The first thing mine did was make me a new nightguard, which was much better. Whatever you do, I hope you find relief soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:41 AM  

  • I get TMJ occasionally but a bit of motrin fixes me right up. Hope you can get it under control. Oh, and I think its probably a delayed reaction to all that stress. Now that you can relax you don't know how.

    By Blogger Carole Knits, at 6:51 AM  

  • I hear (but have no experience with) garageband works for that sort of thing. TMJ/acupuncture. Honestly, the needles for acupuncture are nothing. It isn't like a giant syringe or anything just a tiny, flexy like pin G'luck!

    By Blogger pigbook1, at 8:21 AM  

  • I use an MP4 to MP3 file converter software package, and then use my PC-based music editing program. If you google "convert MP4 to MP3" you'll find a slew of options- here's one:, I'm not sure if that's the one I use or not (it's on my other computer). I-tunes files are MP4 files; PCs use MP3 files (that may be in the "duh" category of statements). The one I use works perfectly - I have only Sansa Sandisk MP3 players, and use I-Tunes for a variety of reasons, and have pulled the files into music editing software.

    GL with the TMJ - eeks.

    By Blogger Sara, at 8:27 AM  

  • It could be a delayed response to the stress. Sometimes when you're in the thick of it you don't realize how tense you are. Afterwards it starts to leak out slowly.

    I've had TMJ since childhood. Mouth guards never worked for me nor did chiropractic. One thing that did was that "relax your muscles one at a time" thing. If I consciously think to relax my jaw muscles they stop clenching so much. Also, I have a shiatsu book with something called do-in exercises that helps a lot, especially all the jaw massaging exercises.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:28 AM  

  • If you're afraid of needles, how can you be a knitter? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

    No TMJ here, but I have had accupuncture. I also get allergy shots on a weekly basis and accupuncture needles are nothing like shots. Nothing. You barely notice the needles.

    By Blogger Kat, at 10:47 AM  

  • I use a warm damp cloth or one of those bean bags you heat up in a microwave ... set on the jaw line at the ear to relax the muscles just before going to bed. Also ... one hour or 1/2 hour before bedtime, I drink a cup of "sleepytime" tea or chamomile tea. It's been working great so far. I had gotten one of those inexpensive mouth guides at first & it does help if it'll stay in your mouth. LOL, some how it finds its way out during the night ... but since the tea & warm compress on the jaw, I haven't needed it anyway. Good luck!

    By Blogger Rhonda the Stitchingnut, at 11:02 AM  

  • No help with the music software....but I applaud your efforts!

    I am a life long TMJ victim. I have had braces twice as an adult. I can tel you that the mouthpiece helps me, but I have also learned a great deal about food.

    No gum, no chewie candy (skittles/starbursts), no biting into apples, and the list can grow from this idea. I also learned about good and bad stress so that I was able to let some of it go without causing further harm to myself. Yoga helps in the evenings and has the bonus fitness benefit. If it flairs up now, I use a warm compress and 1600 mg of Advil. A well trained dentist should be able to get comfortable. Mine is also a victim of TMJ and he is a blessing.

    I hope that you find the combination that works for you, because ultimately, that is the magic that you seek.

    By Blogger Lisa, at 11:26 AM  

  • I don't know a thing about TMJ but re: the Mac sound editing. I believe you should already have garage band and that is what I use. I can tell you how to get iTunes to work with garage band if you'd like. Just shoot me an e-mail.

    By Anonymous tiennie, at 12:06 PM  

  • Hey Danielle,
    I've had great luck with chiropractic for TMJ. Let me know if you'd like my chiropractor's contact info. She'd be glad to talk to you.

    By Blogger Lucy, at 1:08 PM  

  • Welcome back. Alas, I can't help you with either question!

    By Blogger Chris, at 9:47 PM  

  • Aromatherapy can be useful in calming stress. Lavender, neroli (orange blossom), chamomile, and rose are all very relaxing scents. Using an oil burner (the kind heated by a tealight), an electric diffuser, or simply opening a bottle of essential oil and having a whiff now and then while taking a moment to clear your mind and relax your muscles could be helpful.

    By Blogger TheWantonSeedStitch, at 1:47 PM  

  • I knew someone who treated his TMJ with beer. Not sure that's the soundest medical option, though.

    By Anonymous Beth S., at 4:04 PM  

  • Hey, I've asked my in-house sound expert (aka husband) and he says if you export from iTunes in AIFF or use a 3rd party software program to convert MP3 to AIFF. Good luck!

    By Anonymous erin, at 9:15 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home