Headache is a misery in todays society and generally poorly diagnosed or treated. It is often associated with sleep disorders and its certainly true to say that poor sleep affects pain tolerance and equally, pain tolerance affects pain experience.
Tension type headaches (TTH), along with migraine type are the commonest headaches experienced.
Providing TMD and headache care throughout British Columbia, our care encompasses the comprehensive management of many head, neck and shoulder pains. Headaches (specifically tension type -TTH) are most commonly muscle derived and respond well to a physiologically and scientifically (non-drug) focused approach.
Head, neck and facial pain may be resolved as many are postural issues worsened by childhood developmental problems. Such developmental changes often affect the airway and consequently other body systems. Adult and child posture can be improved, enhancing development and function.
Understanding the role of the development of the jaws and airway is important in helping our kids to grow up healthy with adequate space for straight teeth and avoiding airway and breathing issues later in life. Generally avoiding tooth extractions in order to keep the dental arch size as broad as possible is imperative as is the avoidance of any intervention that holds back normal downward and forward development of the face including tooth/bite grinding adjusting, not restoring lost tooth spaces, allowing vertical bite collapse and of course the nemesis to all physiological professionals – orthodontic headgear! Children snore and children suffer airway problems too. These are frequently NOT self-correcting.
TMJ Dysfunction (TMD) may usually be resolved WITHOUT recourse to surgery. One should generally attempt non-invasive and reversible procedures first. The temporomandibular joint is the joint between the lower jaw and the base of the skull. Factors affecting the lower jaw’s function may cause symptoms that can be resolved with an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Headaches, primarily tension-type may be relieved or eradicated completely. Tension type headaches (TTH) may be stress induced, but often have a strong muscle dysfunction connection which may often be eliminated by aligning and supporting jaw position using a small and temporary oral appliance (orthosis). Taking too many pain relievers can actually cause a medication overuse headache (MOH)
Headaches at the base of the skull are referred to as cervicogenic headaches and are often caused by a combination of nerve entrapment (due to altered neck posture), and muscle stresses caused by the body’s attempt to correct both head posture and airway.