Headache and Jaw (TMJ) Pain
There are as many causes of headaches as there are types of headaches.
Headaches that originate from muscular tension, nerve irritation referred from your neck or cranium, trigger points, or jaw (TMJ) tension are well treated by physios.
There are many types of headache physios treat;
Headaches that originate from musculoskeletal causes such as; cervical and cranial nerves, tension in neck muscles, upper trapezius, jaw (TMJ) or head.
Musculoskeletal headaches, or tension headaches, may be caused by poor posture, stress, and lack of sleep. Other causes of headache are numerous such as particular foods, alcohol, shallow breathing or breath-holding, sinus, fever, migraine. A previous concussion can cause tension in the cranium and predispose to headaches.
Many of these over time affect the cranium (head) and can be helped with physiotherapy and craniosacral therapy here at Physio Therapy Yoga in Crows Nest.
Muscular tension or trigger points may refer pain away from them to another area of the body, such as the head. Travell and Simons mapped out all the trigger points in the body. Images of trigger point referral patterns are in the blog on trigger points, and their book below.
From Travell and Simons’ “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction”
Jaw clenching or bruxing is a common cause of headaches, neck an/or shoulder pain. A splint from your dentist protects your teeth and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), but does not prevent tension in muscles that cause pain and headache.
We release your jaw muscles using very gentle massage. Releasing tight muscles in the jaw interrupts a feedback loop of tension helping you break the habit of clenching.
Craniosacral Therapy to treat headaches and jaw pain (TMJ).
For more severe headaches a very gentle technique called Cranio-sacral Therapy is most effective. This therapy is a gentle hands-on treatment to release tight fascia (connective tissue) and joints, restore mobility of nerves, release tension in the jaw and restore the movement of fluids within the spinal dura and cranium.
Physiotherapy treatments include; stretching and massage, neural mobilisation, laser therapy, strengthening of the deep neck stabilisers, and postural and workplace set up advice. Exercises can be taught to maintain relaxation and mobility.
Methods of mindfulness and Yoga meditation are also taught to release stress to reduce jaw clenching.