Migraine – Is Your Jaw to Blame?

Blog, / By Admin

Have you tried taking a number of pain medications to get rid of your headache? Have you gone for endless number of massages to be able to sleep at night? However, none of these work because you still have a splitting miraine that is preventing you from concentrating and falling asleep. It may be because everyone is looking in the wrong place. Your jaw, or the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), may be the culprit of this. Disfunction to the TMJ is can cause migraines and it is one of the easiest to miss as it is hard to distinguish this with other types of headaches.

Symptoms of TMJ Migraine

The symptoms of the migraine itself is very similar to other kinds of headaches. It also can feel very similar to tension headaches. However, TMJ migraine is usually accompanied by other symptoms at the jaw area. These are:

  • Tight jaw muscles
  • Clicking at the jaw
  • Jaw pain
  • Poor jaw mobility
  • Some difficulty chewing

Why do I get TMJ Migraine?

The causes of TMJ  migraine is disfunction to your TMJ. This disfunction is often caused by tightness and tensing up your jaw muscles for prolonged periods of time. These muscles run along your jaw and cheeks and when they are tight, they can get painful whcih may refer to the head as headaches. Activities that my contribute to these tightness are grinding your teeth, chewing overly hard food, or being stressed. Having an awkward bite due to dental issues may also be a cause to this problem.

A TMJ migraine might also result from TMJ issues related to osteoarthritis, joint hypermobility, or osteoporosis

How is it treated?

Conservative treatment is often the best way to manage TMJ migraine.

Physiotherapy can often work well. At Elevate Physiotherapy, we treat TMJ migraine with a combination of TMJ mobilisation and exercises while also working with you to reduce your tendency to clench your jaw.

Lifestyle changes is also another method that works really well. Relaxation techniques to avoid grinding of your teeth go a long way to reducing the tightness in the jaw. Avoid chewing hard food or gum in order to reduce overworking your jaw muscles.

Dentists​ are also able to analyse your bite and see if your jaw disfunction is caused by an unstable or awkward bite. Once they correct that, you may feel that your jaw pain improves and in turn your headache resolves.

We hope that this article as been useful to you. If you have any questions, send us a line! Below is a quick exercise to relieve that tight jaw muscles. Follow us on YouTube to find more of these exercises.