Patient Testimonials & Experiences
Initially the patient was co-treated with a dental night and day time appliance, trochanter belt, and treated for category two or sacroiliac joint hypermobility syndrome. During the course of treatment over the initial months she was treated with category two protocols, sutural cranial temporomandibular joint (TMJ) interventions, T8 chiropractic manipulative reflex technique (CMRT) for the liver along with supportive nutritional supplements and dietary restrictions to support liver function and reduce general body inflammation. The SOT cranial procedures were incorporated to facilitate her category two stabilization and enable her to accommodate to the dental modifications.
At the first office visit with the dental appliance, trochanter belt and category treatment all her shaking would stop when standing. Concurrently as the shaking would cease her pain would also be reduced and her range of motion also increased gradually but notably over the months of care. Treatment began in February 2009 and she was treated only one time per week and though she attempted to come for treatment more frequently the travel time to the office (2.5 hours one way) was too stressful, physically and emotionally. While she was initially treated one time a week from February 2009 through July 2009 following July 2009 she reduced care to two treatments per month.
I am writing this patient testimonial to help others who maybe experiencing TMJ related pain and headaches and seeking assistance from Dr Gerardo. If you are a new patient and are skeptical if he can help you, please read on.
Here is a bit of a personal background for you. I consider myself a wreck from the neck up. I had reconstructive jaw surgery when I was in my teens to realign my jaw and help further along my orthodontics. They told me then that I would always have problems with my jaw and might need more surgery when I am older. I put up with the jaw pain for years until I began suffering from daily migraines that started conflicting with daily life. I worked through the pain as much as I could but finally, I sought treatment 9 years ago from a neurologist who put me on preventive migraine medication, some of which were psychotropic drugs which altered my personality while others drugged me out totally. I was a walking zombie living day to day. I wouldn’t drive when I took meds and stayed home trying to sleep away the headaches when I got them.
I got caught in the medical system and every time I would go to a follow up appointment I would ask them if possibly my TMJ would be causing my headaches and they assured me that it was all neurological. I went along with the program renewing my Rx’s each month, trying the latest and greatest medication, but still my headaches would come and go getting worse even while taking the all medication. I was given pain killers and preventative meds and of course had to be subjected to pricy tests such as MRI’s and cat scans.
I found King House Dental website online one day and wondered if they could help me still with the nagging thought that TMJ was causing my headaches. The site had a lot of information that related to me. I called and made an appointment and met with Dr T. After meeting with him and him getting my history he was sure that TMJ was the root of my problems and suggested a course of treatment. He was the first doctor in years that actually listened and was willing to help try and fix the problem and not just try and mask it with medication. He didn’t guarantee me a complete recovery but said he could possibly make things better. In my mind, I told myself that if I could just get off the meds, it would be worth it. He began doing all kinds of non dental testing such as balance testing, measurements with funny contraptions placed on my head and asking me questions about how I sleep etc. I wasn’t sure what to think at this point. I was more skeptical. After all this isn’t what dentists do but I was desperate for relief.
He suggested I see a chiropractor, Dr Gerardo, several times a week that practices in Burbank. I knew as a working professional, this was almost near to impossible due to the distance, but he assured me I would recover quicker if I did. I hedged on this for awhile and then Dr G began to come to the dental office and I began seeing him when he did. He was right again. Dr G’s appointments and methods were nothing like I had ever experienced before but I trusted him and he did make me feel better.
My headaches began to diminish from daily to one a week then to one a month and I weaned myself off the migraine medication.
It was amazing to feel how life could be pain free and I got addicted to making myself better and channeled my energy into finding better ways to help me sleep and feel better including my ergonomics at work and how I slept at night. I became more active in my recovery and established a patient-Dr relationship that made me feel like I was contributing to my own recovery. Dr’s T & G are really good about listening to their patients and treating them individually and not everyone the same.
I am happy to report I’m off all medication except for an occasional pain reliever. I am weaned off my daytime orthotic and only wear one at night. My jaw is stable. We found through further testing that I sleep abnormally and I grind and clinch my teeth and jaw at night and I don’t get enough oxygen when I sleep all causing me to wakeup with headaches.
After TMJ treatments, I feel better now than I have in 20 years. I did have an unexpected period of neck and shoulder pain while my jaw was in transition but the low level laser therapy and chiropractor visits helped me through.
If you’re contemplating TMJ treatment, please know that it works and can make a difference. I was an extreme case and they helped me. Dr T and Dr G’s methods and questions may seem out of the ordinary for the Dental or Chiropractic world at times, but know they work. If you are skeptical like I was, take the chance on making your quality of living better. It is worth the effort, time and money living life without TMJ headaches and jaw pain is amazing!
Thank you Dr T and G!
July 27, 2007
I came to see Dr. Richard Gerardo in July 2006 based on a referral by Dr. David Sharazi, a dentist who was treating me for temporal mandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and severe degenerative disease in the jaw joint. Although I had much skepticism about chiropractic services, it seemed logical that a disorder involving the misalignment of bones, cartilage and muscles might be helped by a chiropractor. After a few visits, I noticed a small reduction in pain. When I didn’t see Dr. Gerardo, my symptoms increased. Confidence in Dr. Gerardo increased when a physical therapist I’d seen a few times made similar recommendations as Dr. Gerardo. Intuitive and a good listener, Dr. Gerardo also made suggestions about exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. Following his advice helped me to reduce stress and break the pain cycle of TMJ. After awhile, I considered him a lifestyle coach.
During one visit, I mentioned that I’d just been diagnosed with pancreatitis. Dr. Gerardo’s recommendations for a strict diet and supplements were very helpful. I also began praying intensely and believing that my pancreas was healed. Within one week, my lipase level went from 354 to 36. (The normal range is 16-63.) My general practitioner was shocked by the positive results and called for repeated blood tests to confirm the surprising outcome. On another occasion, I was experiencing changes in my vision that were suggestive of an ocular migraine or vitreous detachment. Following his adjustment, my vision was normalized.
After five months of treatment by Dr. Gerardo and of using the pressure-relieving orthotics recommended by my dentist, x-rays were taken. The films showed new bone and new cartilage growth on the condyle–the area that was previously affected by severe degenerative disease.
Dr. Gerardo has been attentive and responsive to my health needs. His ability to synthesize bits of information and to create a highly individualized treatment plan is outstanding. His retention of details and follow-up questions set a strong foundation for trust and encouragement. He often remembers progress milestones that I’ve forgotten in the midst of normal setbacks and pain. Most important, Dr. Gerardo has been supportive of my praying and believing in a positive outcome.
Dr. Gerardo’s holistic approach to TMJ is highly recommended.
Southern California University of Health Sciences
September 19, 2007
Dear Dr. Gerardo,
Thank you for sharing your valuable time and experience with the students of SCUHS. The dedication and professionalism of doctors such as yourself make the Specialized Chiropractic Procedures course both possible and successful. The learning opportunity you have provided is greatly appreciated by the students and faculty of the college.
I trust that you enjoyed your visit to our campus and that we may have the opportunity to work together again in the near future.
David M. Sikorski, D.C.
Professor/Chair, Dept. of Principles & Practices