THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HEADACHES & JAW PAIN
HEADACHES & JAW PAIN
At Hoppers Physio near Werribee, we help with many muscle tension issues which could be the cause of headaches.
Do you suffer from headaches and jaw pain? If you tend to grind your teeth or clench your jaw together this can cause irritation and wear to the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) and increased tone in the muscles that close your jaw. This typically happens during times of stress, anxiety and quite commonly when your sleeping.
The TMJ connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the skull (temporal bone) in front of the ear, allowing you to do things like laugh, chew, talk and enables your jaw to move up and down as well as side to side.
The muscles of the TMJ run along your jaw and cheeks and can sometimes cause pain resulting in headaches. There are many different kinds of headaches, but TMJ headaches can occur with the following symptoms:
- Jaw or facial pain
- Tight TMJ muscles
- A ‘clicking’ noise in the jaw
- Changes in the way you bite
- Restricted movement in the jaw
HOW TO COPE WITH IT
There are a couple things that could be helpful for any pain you may have related to TMJ which can include reducing any stressful situations to prevent you from clenching your jaw. This could be participating in half-hour of exercise a day, taking short breaks from stressful work or even going to a yoga class. Avoid chewy food or hard foods, stretch your neck throughout the day, and avoid any movements that you need to open your mouth wide including yawning.
Try these exercises to help relieve TMJ pain and improve the movement of your jaw joints:
● Rest your tongue on the top of your mouth gently behind your upper front teeth, allowing your teeth to not touch while you relax your jaw muscles
● Hold your shoulders back and chest up, pull your chin back to create a ‘double chin’ and hold for 3 seconds. Repeat this 10 times
To manage any pain, a short-term solution may be to use a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication over the counter when you discover your jaw beginning to become tender or stiff to reduce the inflammation, or icing your jaw to help relieve any pain. However, seeing a qualified
physiotherapist can help by using massage techniques to reduce the tone in your jaw muscles which can slow the progression of a headache and help with the jaw pain. There are a couple other areas which may contribute to your headache including tight or tense shoulders, neck and the head. If you would like some advice speak to one of our friendly staff at Hoppers Physio in Hoppers Crossing and call (03) 9749 5110 to book an appointment with one of our qualified physiotherapists.