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TMJ or other Face Pain? Fix your Pillow!
TMJ or other Face Pain? Fix your Pillow!
People with serious TMJ or hyperesthesia of the face find that even the touch of the softest pillow is painful, and some people mitigate this with pain pills, splints, or even operations. I find that pillow modification is helpful, while pills are often worthless and hard on the body to boot.

By lying on the pillowcase-less pillow and marking all the spots that hurt the most (roll sideways for access), you can establish a high-density pain area. It's easy to push all the feathers away from an area to let the surrounding area bear more of the your weight, and then sew stitches to surround the pain area so it stays feather-free. This may compact the down enough so that you'll want to open the pillow and remove some down—do it outdoors.

You can even cut off a section of pillow and resew the pillow edge, keeping in mind that down is like Houdini—these feathers can escape even when it's not possible. The upside of pillow surgery is the lessened face pain, but the down side—no pun intended—is the way side-lying neck balance can get compromised, which can lead to a whole new set of pains.

Below are the stitched pillow and the cut pillow. I used the stitched pillow until pain dictated that I needed to make a change. Nothing against the face was much better than a little bit of fabric touching now and then. Did you ever try to sleep on a bad sunburn? If so, you know what I'm talking about.
Pillow Modification