|TMJ Headache Doctor John Halmaghi is the Michigan Migraine Headache Pain treatment specialist for various forms of craniofacial pain, migraine pain, jaw and neck pain, craniomandibular pain, temporomandibular pain|
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Pain - What is It?
Nerves & Muscles
The Headache - Migraine MysteryMedical researchers estimate that at least 20% of the population suffers from daily, or weekly, headache and common migraine.
Neurological research has isolated the temporalis muscle and trigeminal nerve as the primary centers of tension headache pain, and possibly common migraine pain. Unfortunately, both the temporalis muscle and trigeminal nerve are overlooked as causative factors for headaches and migraine. Most dentists are not skilled enough to be able to diagnose such problems, and physicians leave these problems to the dentists.
Maintaining The Medical MysteryMost headache sufferers go from doctor to doctor looking for some kind of answer. Each new physician, or therapist, 'knows' the problem and proceeds to treat it accordingly. Unfortunately, many doctors do not coordinate their treatment efforts for the best care possible.
A large majority of practitioners fail to address the biggest problem: muscular activity causing compression, thereby shifting blood flow, changing the electrochemistry, and altering the position of the jaw within the skull bone. The headache occurs when the muscles that surround the damaged joint assume a tightened (contracted) posture, trying to protect and support the injured joint.
Patients who experience headaches are often advised to try physical therapy, biofeedback, different medications, and chiropractic care. If these methods are ineffective, patients may be referred to a counselor to help deal with life's stress. These people typically learn to live with their pain.
Unfortunately, for the daily headache and common migraine sufferer, no one has had an answer. These patients have been told to accept and cope with headaches as a part of their normal daily life. They're told it's just stress, or our sinuses, or some lingering effect of an accident we had years ago.
The Answer Lies in Your HeadResearch has shown an association between intense chronic muscle contraction and chronic headaches. When the muscles become overused, pain sets in. Most of the dysfunctional muscular activity starts to eventually damage the joint. When the joint becomes damaged, the muscles try to protect it by splinting themselves into even more activity. Big brother tries to protect little brother. The pain cycle worsens. It's a no-win tug-o-war!
Research has now shown that in the chronic headache patient, the jaw muscles are in a constant state of tension (or contraction). Additionally, many other factors begin to develop. The nervous system becomes unbalanced. This causes your sympathetic nervous system to overwork itself. Increased input to the muscles from the sympathetic nervous system increases the tension and contraction of the muscles. Eventually the facial muscles begin to cramp. The intense and debilitating pain from the cramping can cause nausea, sensitivity to light, and all of the other symptoms of the common migraine.
Now, if you're still thinking that the muscles of your jaws do not cause your headaches, then do the following self-test. First, press on your forehead at the hairline, right in the middle. Don't be too gentle. You should be able to press pretty hard and not feel any pain or soreness. Think of the pressure on this spot and what you are feeling as the control spot. This is your "normal" spot. Second, press on several spots, starting on the side of your jaw and working your way up the temples. There should be no pain at all... not any more than the "control" spot. If you feel pain, your masseter and temporalis muscles are in DYSFUNCTION.
During sleep even the slightest touching of the teeth requires contraction of the temporalis and masseter muscles. The basic rule of Mother Nature is that:
Your teeth should never be touching!!!
They don't even touch when you chew. Simply allowing the teeth to touch requires contraction of the temporalis and masseter muscles. Any continual contraction of the closing muscles results in a dysfunctional state, which may not be painful until a later time. That is why clenching and grinding causes dysfunction of these muscles.
It's during certain stressful parts of the day that we clench or grind and cause muscular damage. At night, the stress can continue. This eventually leads to loss of sleep, and prevents the nervous system from coming into balance. The sympathetic nervous system does not shut down and our bodies get depleted. We feel tired, irritated, nervous, depressed, and angry. It's our body's way of telling us that something is going wrong. The parasympathetic nervous system has to have a chance to turn on and replenish the body with the hormones and nutrients that it needs. The sympathetic depletes the gas tank. When the parasympathetic does not get a chance to re-fuel, the body starts to break down.
Contact Dr. Halmaghi's staff at migraineheadachepain.com to obtain any additional information you may need for utilizing our evaluation service.