I’ve become very annoyed recently. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed many patients come to me with migraine symptoms. They tell me they have seen many practitioners with varying degrees of success. But the most common thing I hear is that the treatment never provides long term help.
OK, so why am I feeling annoyed?
With all the different forms of treatment they were receiving, not one of them mentioned, assessed or treated their jaw!!!! I couldn’t believe this…
They have often been told that it has nothing to do with or even worse, it’s never even been checked!
Often, I find one of the most common causes of migraines is TMJ dysfunction. Let me explain why….
A very important nerve, called your trigeminal nerve, passes from your jaw and face to a key area of your brainstem. From here it has many friends that it communicates with. The result is that is has massive inputs into the brain.
A dysfunctional jaw can irritate this nerve and cause large amounts of stimulation into the brain. Long term, this can lead to inflammatory changes that often lead to migraines in susceptible people.
These jaw changes can also alter neck function and is one of the reasons that treatment directed to the neck can help, but in my experience, it’s often only temporarily.
In fact, I’ve seen in some people who frequently get neck treatment for migraines, they may find that they’re doing more harm than good.
For these people, it appears putting more input into a brain that is already overstimulated, can be a trigger and potentially create problems for them.
The great thing is treating the jaw isn’t as hard as it sounds.
But there are a ton of different issues that can affect the jaw. Structural problems, neurological imbalances, bite pattern changes, the list goes on and on….
In fact, even foot problems and Stress can create problems!
The great thing about correcting TMJ dysfunction, is that once we start to reduce cortical input and get the brain calmer, we often see significant reduction in the frequency or intensity of migraines.
If you’re not sure if your migraines are being caused by jaw issues then I’ve got some great tips to help you…
Here’s a couple quick tests you can try to see if you may be having problems:
- March, arms out in front, eyes closed – Place your hands in front of you and march on the spot with your eyes closed for 20-30 seconds. If you turn to a side, it can be an indicator of TMJ dysfunction.
- Check neck motion then release your jaw – Rotate your neck side to side, then up and down and note the range of movement. Then place an Icy-pole stick between your teeth and do repeat. If your movement is increased, then it’s highly likely you have some level of tmj dysfunction.
For this reason, I have put together a very special assessment program to thoroughly assess the jaw of migraine sufferers. Just click the link below and we will sort everything out for you.