Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

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Friday, July 2, 2010

CLUSTER HEADACHE AND TMJ DISORDER

QUESTION: My fiance has been having these headaches (her doctor thinks they are cluster headaches) for months now. The headaches are intense and always have the same focal point in the front left part of her head. She also has chronic neck pain and has been diagnosed with TMJD.

DR SHAPIRA: I WOULD STRONGLY RECOMMEND HAVING AN EVALUATION WITH A TRAINED NEUROMUSCULAR DENTIST. THAT IS A COMMON AREA FOR MANY TYPES OF PAIN RELATED TO NECK AND JAW PROBLEMS. REFERRED MUSCLE PAIN FROM THE TEMPORALIS MUSCLE, MASSTER MUSCLE ,STERNOCLEIDOMASTOID OR TRAPEZIUS MUSCLES COULD EASILY BE A CAUSE OF THE PAIN. MOST PAINS ASSOCIATED WITH TMJ DISORDERS ARE MUSCULAR IN ORGIN.

CLUSTER HEADACHES ARE MEDIATED BY THE TRIGEMINAL NERVE AND CAN BE A SECONDARY EFFECT OF TMD OR NEUROMUSCULAR PROBLEMS.

TMJ DISORDERS ARE OFTEN CALLED "THE GREAT IMPOSTER" BECAUSE THEY ARE SO OFTEN MISDIAGNOSED OR APPEAR TO BE A DIFFERENT PROBLEM SUCH AS CLUSTER HEADACHES.

CLUSTER HEADACHES FREQUENTLY RESPOND WELL TO OXYGEN TREATMENTS AND/OR SPG OR SPENOPALATINE GANGLION BLOCKS.

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posted by Dr Shapira at 11:15 AM

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