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Are You Struggling With Headaches, Migraines And TMJ Disorder? Written By: Dr. Ankita Shah, Jan 2021

Are You Struggling With Headaches, Migraines

TMJ pain has been reported in 1 in 10 people, and TMD has been reported in almost half of the population.

TMD = The Great Impostor Disease

sign symtoms of headache

What is a headache?

There are so many different types of headaches like

A] Tension headaches : A tension-type headache is a mild to moderate pain that is often described as feeling a tight headband around the head. A tension headache is one of the most common types of headache, yet its causes aren't well understood.

Symptoms of a tension headache are as follows :

    Dull, painful head pain

    A sensation of pressure across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head

    Tenderness in shoulder muscles, neck and scalp

Symptoms of a tension headache

B] Cluster headaches : A cluster headache occurs in cluster periods or cyclical patterns. They are one of the most painful types of TMJ headaches. A cluster headache commonly awakens you in the middle of the night with pain in or around an eye or on one side of your head.

Frequent attacks of cluster headaches can last from weeks to months, followed by remission periods when the headaches pause. During remission, no headaches transpire for months or sometimes even years.

However, cluster headaches are not life-threatening. Here are a few symptoms of TMJ cluster headaches :

A runny or stuffy nose on the affected side

Facial sweating on the affected side

Restlessness

One-sided pain

Excessive tearing

Redness of your eye and swelling around the eye on the affected side

Drooping eyelid on the affected side

Cluster Headaches

C] Migraines : A TMJ migraine is a headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. Extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light is often accompanied by a migraine. A migraine can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so intense that it interferes with your daily activities.

Here are some of the common pre-symptoms of migraines:

Constipation

Mood changes from euphoria to depression

Food cravings

Neck stiffness

Increased urination

Fluid retention

Frequent yawning

Migraines

D] Hormone headachess : Menstrual migraines, also known as hormone headaches, occur right before or post a woman's period and can get worse with sound, movement, smell or light. Menstrual migraine is one of the several types of TMJ migraine headaches, and the symptoms are similar to the other types of migraines.

Headache pain that varies from dull to a severe

Feeling very warm (sweating) or cold (chills)

Sensitivity to smell, light and noise

Tender scalp

Loss of appetite

Dizziness and blurred vision

Pale skin colour (pallor)

Feeling tired

Abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, upset stomach

Diarrhoea or fever (rare)

Hormone Headachess

E] Ice pick headaches : An ice pick headache is an uncommon headache disorder. It causes a sudden, sharp, stabbing head pain (or a quick series of pains). This pain comes on unexpectedly and lasts a few seconds.

An ice pick headache is an uncommon headache disorder that causes a sudden stabbing headache. This pain lasts for a few seconds and comes unexpectedly. People who experience such headaches equate the pain to being stabbed in the eye or head with an ice pick. In several such headaches, the stabbing pain lasts less than 3 seconds.

Ice pick headaches

How is a headache caused?

Truly doctors wouldn't know the exact cause of headaches. Regardlessly all headaches are mediated by the Trigeminal nerve. Most research indicates that the pain from headaches comes from a mixture of signals between the brain, blood vessels and nerves. These are very specific nerves around our blood vessels and the muscles in our head, neck and jaw. When these get turned on, signals pain to our brain.

We believe the pain signals to the brain are caused due to muscle dysfunction. We believe dysfunctional muscles i.e. the muscles that are swollen and that are inflamed put pressure on the nerves and this pressure contributes to headaches. Typically those who have chronic headaches also have other issues related to muscle dysfunction that is neck pain, jaw pain, worn off teeth due to grinding, and postural imbalances from the jaw all the way down to the feet.

Dysfunctional muscles lead to.

headaches,
ear and neck pain
jaw pain
.

Patients having forward neck and shoulder posture due to mouth breathing, tongue ties or other causes show a rotation in the upper cervical vertebrae especially C1(Atlas) which can contribute to headaches as well.

foward neck posture

Non Invasive Treatment For Headaches

If the cause is your TMJ, treatments aiming at the root cause can help ease headache pain and allow you to take precautions to prevent future headaches. We need to focus on a neuromuscular balance that can be achieved with myofascial massage, LLLT, myofunctional therapy, GNM orthotics and teeth alignment. When muscles become less inflamed, the pressure is then taken off the nerves and headaches are decreased drastically. We believe that lowering the threshold of excitation of the trigeminal nerve by putting the muscles in the most relaxed position is what contributes to treatments being more successful. Additionally, physical therapists and chiropractors can help with the alignments of the C1 vertebrae and postural issues that are contributing to the headaches. It helps to decrease all kinds of headaches.

Let’s live a pain - free life!

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