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Lisa's Airway Story

17 Years with Neck Pain...
Posted on 2/10/2019 by Foundation for Airway Health
woman at computerI suffered neck pain for about 17 years before accidentally landing in the office of a dentist who figured it out. I was not able to sleep and had developed migraines too.

What first brought me to the practice was two cracked teeth with amalgam fillings. After having breast cancer, I was worried about heavy metal toxicity and wanted to have the fillings correctly removed. I did a search on the web and that's what led me to the office of a dentist who also happened to be an airway dentist. It was odd at first; although the dentist was happy to help me with the cracked teeth, he was more curious about other things he could see going on in my mouth. Cracked teeth were the easy fix. I had bigger issues.

He looked at my face and mouth and started asking me if I suffer from neck pain and headaches. He actually was dead on with all my physical issues. That was how I found out I had a restricted airway and that my pain was real, not just “in my head!” My pain came from body's best attempt to open my breathing passages and get enough oxygen into me. He said, “I think I can help you.” Well, that got my attention!

Let me tell you what I had been through. I could work only part time because pain and lack of sleep made it impossible to do more. That kind of pain robs you of your life. I would have to go out on my lunch break and recline in my car for a half hour to make it through the day. Then after going home I had to lie down to take the pressure off my head and neck before I could make dinner. This happened EVERY DAY of my work life for 17 years because my brain chose keeping my airway open over physical comfort.

I'd been to a chiropractor, a massage therapist, a Rolfer. I'd tried kinesiology, physical therapy, acupuncture. I had been to an atlas orthogonist and a neurologist, but in the end it was a dentist who wasn't interested in my cracked teeth who gave me my life back.

Here are the results I got once my airway was opened with a nighttime dental appliance:
- I could sleep. I had been waking up maybe 20 times per night.
- I didn't have to nap every day just to get by.
- I could walk and even run pain free.
- My immune system started working better than ever because I was able to rest.
- I enjoyed my family again.

Let me share something that drives me nuts: this work isn't reimbursable on health insurance. Those therapies that didn't work were reimbursable, but the treatment that got to the real cause of my problem – a restricted airway – was not. Until the system changes (don't hold your breath), I have to look at this more like an investment than a medical expense. Pain robbed me of my life for 17 years. I am happy to invest in a life free of suffering.

After I got my appliance, the process went something like this:

The first six months I had to have adjustments to my mouth piece about once a week. After that it needed adjusting just when I started feeling pain which was maybe once or twice a month.

Since taking the leap into airway dentistry, I am pain free 90 percent of the time. Until it happened, I would never have thought it possible. I wish I could tell everyone who suffers from neck pain, headaches, TMJ and shoulder pain to get their airway checked. They might get their life back like I did.
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