Jaw Pain And Headaches
What is jaw pain (TMJ) and how is it connected to headaches?
Jaw pain and headaches are all too familiar sensations that people worldwide experience. This common encounter can affect the mouth’s function, limit use, and decrease quality of life overall. The Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) located on either side of your head, in front of your ears, is often the source of jaw discomfort and can also cause intolerable headaches. Many patients are unaware of the signs/symptoms affiliated, treatments available, and preventative measures obtainable. Our Physiotherapists and Massage Therapists have all the tools and knowledge necessary to settle TMJ dysfunction and exterminate jaw pain causing headaches.
What causes jaw pain and headaches?
There are many possible underlying causes of jaw pain. Many diagnoses are treatable and can be resolved within a few days with the correct treatment. Those with jaw pain are often found to be experiencing pain due to dental problems, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ, TMD), tension headaches, and migraines. Additionally, these recurrent pathologies are seen daily in our Physio clinic and are as frequently remediated for patient satisfaction.
How do I know if I have a jaw problem?
Many of us may have experienced jaw pain and may be able to relate to the following most-seen symptoms;
- Pain in the jaw joint, face, and neck
- Headaches, including tension headaches and migraines
- Clicking or popping sounds in the jaw
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
- Teeth grinding or clenching
How do you diagnose TMJ and headaches?
Although jaw pain is typically diagnosable via telling signs and physical examination, more complex cases may require imaging for specific detection. X-rays, MRIs, CTs, and EMGs may be used when necessary for verification and to gather more information about the pathology.
How can I fix my jaw pain? How can I get rid of a headache?
Numerous remedies are available regarding jaw pain and headaches. You can try using medications for resolving pain and muscle spasms, as well as oral appliances to realign the bite and prevent grinding. However, Physiotherapists resolve jaw pain using manual therapy, exercise, and self-relieving techniques. These methods are minimally invasive, and instantaneous results can be shown! However, to maintain jaw pain relief, following up with a couple of appointments is recommended for optimal and long-lasting results.
How can I prevent this problem from coming back?
Your jaw pain can happen for no reason (no known cause); however, preventative measures can still be taken to avoid it altogether. Some strategies are listed below:
- Maintain good dental hygiene
- Manage your stress
- Avoid hard or chewy foods
- Use proper posture
- Exercise and stretch
In short, jaw pain and headaches can hugely impact how we live. Above all, it is important to seek treatment early. This cannot be emphasized enough, as strategies used at Excite Physiotherapy have the ability to finally end jaw pain and get you back to living a fulfilled life doing the things you love! Finally, we can help you identify your symptoms and determine a plan of care to elevate your rate of recovery. It is never too early to intercept jaw pain to ward off further suffering.
~Gracyn Emmerton, PTA Candidate, SUNY Canton