TMJ Dysfunction and Headaches

Treating TMJ Dysfunction and Headaches

Chronic headaches can be one of the most troublesome musculoskeletal complaints.

There can be many reasons for headaches. At Beacon Physical Therapy, our experience is that there is almost always a component from the neck or jaw.  Stress by itself does not cause headaches, but the stress can be manifested with jaw clenching, neck tightness, or poor posture, which in turn creates pain.  Even in cases where you may have been diagnosed with migraines not associated with your neck, there may be physical therapy strategies that can help.

Though often occurring together, not all people with jaw problems (temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMJ dysfunction) have headaches.  Many people also have pain in the jaw itself or difficulty with eating or speaking.  Even sleep can be severely affected by TMJ dysfunction by causing airway blockage and sleep apnea.

The expert staff at Beacon Physical Therapy will listen to you to truly understand the triggers and aggravating factors of your jaw dysfunction or headaches.  We can immediately help you to understand if there is a postural component such as a forward head position and how that relates to your problem.

Specific and achievable postural recommendations can let you start improving the same day when you return to work or home.  While in our clinic, we’ll use advanced manual therapy techniques to address any cranial, cervical, or  temporomandibular dysfunctions we find.

Exercise, when appropriate, may be as simple as breathing and relaxation activities or may be more rigorous such as neck or back exercises to improve your alignment and posture.

In addition, we work closely with doctors and dentists.  We will communicate directly with your other team members and if we feel there is a dental appliance or other aspect of care that requires intervention outside our walls.