Physical therapy for headaches and jaw pain can provide significant relief without medication or surgery.
Headaches rooted in the neck or jaw can cause a variety of unpleasant or painful symptoms, but identifying the source of the pain can present a challenge. Seeing a doctor to rule out any serious problems is a necessary first step. However, once your doctor rules out any rare conditions, a customized course of physical therapy can provide significant relief.
Mountain View Physical Therapy of Midvale, Utah, can design a customized physical therapy program to provide effective relief from headaches and TMJ-related pain. We serve all the communities surrounding Midvale and throughout northern Utah.
Physical Therapy for Headaches
Those headaches that originate in the neck — known as neck headaches — may be caused by a variety of musculoskeletal problems. The joints, muscles and nerves of the upper neck are all vulnerable to dysfunction. The neural signals these structures send to your brain are processed as headache pain.
Consequently, as long as your head pain is not related to a neurological or systemic issue (aneurysm, tumor, meningitis), therapy can be highly effective for treating the problem.
Neck headaches account for approximately one-quarter of all headaches. Tension causes many more. When neck and tension headaches combine, you may experience a type of pain commonly associated with migraine headaches.
Most patients experience a significant reduction of headaches when physical therapy is used to treat the underlying musculoskeletal problems.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that hinges your jaw and allows you to bite, chew, speak and yawn. It is the most heavily used joint in your body, but it is also the source of many painful problems.
Problems in the TMJ are known as TM disorders, or TMD. You may experience pain in and around the jaw area, accompanied by popping or clicking in the jaw or the inability to open your mouth all the way without pain. A key symptom of TMJ problems is grinding your teeth, known as bruxism.
Many patients grind their teeth at night and are consequently unaware they have a problem until the pain manifests, often as a headache. These headaches may be accompanied by dizziness or pain around the ears or in the neck.
Physical Therapy for TMJ/TMD
TMD is commonly caused by misalignment of the teeth or the bite, or structural issues in the joint. In those cases, physical therapy contributes significantly to reducing the pain; however, treatment by an oral surgeon may also be necessary.
In many more cases, however, TMJ pain is caused by problems in the facial muscles, by poor neck posture, by accidents or injuries, or by stress. In those cases, headache and TMJ therapy can address the underlying causes to help resolve the issues.
And as a component of treatment, we can help patients correct underlying functional or biomechanical issues to ensure that the pain does not return.
In Midvale and throughout northern Utah, Mountain View Physical Therapy provides comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of head and neck pain. Contact us today to schedule your consultation to learn more about the many benefits of headache and TMD/TMJ therapy.