Nearly 30% of the population suffers from migraines; however, there is one particular type of migraine that often is not discussed. This is migraines that arise from a condition known as TMJ, which refers to problems originating with the temporomandibular joint. Nearly one in ten people will experience TMJ at some point in their lives, with many developing migraines. Let’s take a look at this condition and potential methods of treatment.
What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint is a ball and socket joint that connects your bottom jaw to the temporal bone of your skull. TMJ occurs when there is excessive strain on this joint and the various muscles that control it. There are many reasons that this may occur including clenching or grinding teeth, arthritis affecting the joint’s cartilage, and trauma to your head or neck.
TMJ is typically associated with a wide variety of symptoms. The most common involves jaw pain or tenderness, which is typically more pronounced during eating. You may experience this pain directly at the joint or elsewhere in your jaw. Another common symptom of TMJ is pain near your ear, as the temporomandibular joint provides support for this area. In severe cases, a throbbing pain throughout your face may be caused. Of course, one of the most severe types of pain that can develop from this condition are TMJ migraines.
There are also potential physiological problems that can develop as a result of TMJ. The most common is difficulty chewing, often a byproduct of the pain. The joint itself can also lock into place, making it difficult or extremely painful to open or close your mouth. For people who suffer from TMJ, diagnosis can be made by a doctor or dentist. Treatment for TMJ consists of treating the condition as well as problems associated with it until the condition resolves. Thus, for those suffering migraines, TMJ migraine treatment is definitely important.
Natural Treatment Options for TMJ Migraines
There are a wide variety of natural treatment options for people suffering from TMJ migraines. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.
Hot or Cold Therapy. Applying a heating pad or an ice pack to your jaw may help to reduce TMJ pain and prevent TMJ headaches from occurring. Many people find that alternating hot and cold is effective. Typically, this works best if applying the hot or cold source for approximately 15 minutes several times per day. Aculief’s Migraine Relief Hat can help with ice therapy.
Acupressure. Acupressure or even acupuncture can help relieve pain caused from TMJ migraines. This stems from ancient Eastern medicine and is actually supported by research. It involves triggering a number of points on the body that area associated with providing pain relief. One of the most useful points is on the hand and triggered by the Aculief Wearable Acupressure clip.
Eat Soft Foods. Eating soft foods can help provide relief from TMJ migraines. If you feel one starting to come on, switching to softer foods for the rest of the day may prevent its occurrence. This can allow inflammation in your jaw to be addressed naturally by your body. Some people find sticking to a soft food diet for a few weeks can provide relief for a long time.
Learn Stress Management. One of the top triggers of TMJ headaches is stress. Even if you have a physical reason for experiencing TMJ, limiting stress can be effective for many people in preventing TMJ migraines from occurring or lessening their frequency. Of course, stress management is good for many other things as well. Whether you prefer taking a walk in nature, talking to a therapist, doing yoga, or some other method, set aside time to unwind and relax.
Try Essential Oils. Essential oils are naturally derived from plants and have been found to be useful in preventing and treating migraines. Specifically, lavender oil and peppermint oil are very effective in providing migraine relief. Aculief’s Calm Essential Oil Balm contains both of these oils and is a good blend for winding down at the end of the day or to apply to your temples when experiencing migraines.
Medical Treatment Options for TMJ Migraines
Of course, there are also a number of treatments that your physician or dentist may recommend as well. Here are some of the most frequent.
Oral Splints. One of the least invasive methods of treatment involves the use of oral splints and other types of mouth guards. In some situations, wearing a soft device over your teeth can help to reduce the pains experienced from TMJ including dampening the effects of migraines. The reasons these devices work for this condition are not overly understood but they are sometimes effective.
Physical Therapy. A course of physical therapy is sometimes attempted. The goal here is typically to partake in exercises that are designed in order to slowly strengthen and stretch the muscles around your jaw. As the muscles strengthen, TMJ migraines often become less severe. Physical therapy for TMJ may also include treatments with heat, ultrasound, or ice.
Medication. There are some medications that are at time prescribed for people suffering from TMJ migraines. Popular ones are pain relievers which treat a symptom of the migraine but not the cause. Muscle relaxers are sometimes used to help relieve muscle spasms in the jaw that can lead to migraines occurring. If TMJ is the result of clenching teeth, low doses of antidepressants may be prescribed as they have been found to result in better control.
Many people suffer from TMJ. If you experience this condition and migraines associated with it, there are many ways to address it. In addition to seeking medical treatment, there are natural solutions that can promote TMJ migraine prevention and pain reduction. Many people find that hot or cold therapy, acupressure, essential oils, a soft food diet, or incorporating stress management can be effective. Additionally, these techniques can be important tools to leverage while seeking treatment from your medical provider, helping compliment their care.