Tension Headaches & Migraine

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache. In fact, somewhere between 70-90% of the population will experience a tension headache of mild or moderate intensity during the course of their lifetime. For the most part, tension headaches are not disabling and those suffering can go about their daily routines at home or at work.

The typical words used to describe a tension headache include:

  • Tightness
  • Band-like
  • Aching
  • Squeezing
  • Pressure-like
The primary locations where tension headaches are experienced are:

  • In the temples
  • Across the forehead
  • At the back of head
  • In the facial muscles

It is thought that tension headaches are caused by muscle tightening that is created by a host of factors including tension and emotions, dehydration, lack of sleep, repetitive work postures, strain of the neck muscles and activities like clenching and grinding of the teeth to name just a few.

In patients with a bad Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) problem, tension headaches can be experienced on a frequent or chronic basis as a result of jaw, facial and neck muscles being in a persistent state of contracture. Tension headaches can be the dominant symptom of a Temporomandibular problem or may be one of many symptoms.

Treatment of Tension Headaches may include a Combination of:

  • Medication
  • Education
  • Behavior modification strategies
  • Counseling
  • Exercises
  • Physiotherapy

With these treatment options and working with other health care providers it’s likely that the frequency, duration and intensity of your tension headaches can be reduced.

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Tooth Pain

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are classified as a neurological disorder, are more common in females, most often are dominant on one side of the head, and often accompanied with symptoms of light and sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting. Once a migraine headache develops, pounding and throbbing pain is often experienced across the eyes, forehead, temples, and back of the head.

Though we fully understand that migraine headaches often have a genetic origin and often occur spontaneously without influence from any behavioral or environmental factors, we believe that treatments offered in our office that confront the muscles of the face, jaw and neck are invaluable in helping relieve pain symptoms. I therefore approach these problems with a combination of:

  • Medications
  • Oral appliances used when sleeping
  • Muscle trigger point injection therapy
  • Lifestyle change suggestions
  • Dry needling techniques
  • Botox injections
  • Stress management strategies
  • Biofeedback
  • Relaxation strategies
  • Sleep hygiene suggestions

Managing migraine headaches certainly requires a team approach, and my office can be a critical part of your caring team.

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