What Causes Headache From TMJ?

What Causes Headache From TMJ?

Headache from TMJ issues is generally going to fall into 3 categories:

Jaw Tightness and Pain

Neck Tightness and Pain

Migraine Factors

Each of these variables interact with each other. You may have more or less of one than another in any combination.

What Causes Headache From TMJ?
Jaw Tightness and Pain

Whether or not you have actual Tendonitis of the Jaw is irrelevant to this conversation.

If your jaw muscles are tight, too tight, stuck in a firing pattern of chronic tightness, then sooner or later you will feel pain.

When jaw muscles are too tight for too long, you start to experience symptoms of TMJ.

When you have chronic tightness at the jaw, and everything else that then comes along with TMJ, sooner or later the tightness starts to spread. This effects muscles in the jaw, face, and head.

If we isolate just the clenching from TMJ, we see that there is constant tension on the teeth and bones of the jaw.

This constant pressure on the bones of your skull can translate into various kinds of pain and ache, including headache.

Headache is one of the bodies responses to certain kinds of painful stimuli.

If you put your skull into a vice and tightened it, you'd get a headache. Essentially, your jaw is a vice, tightening more and more on itself.

What causes headache pain to get worse? More tightness.

What Causes Headache From TMJ
Neck Tightness and Pain

TMJ can be isolated in the jaw. But realistically, there is always a larger dynamic to deal with. Tightness in the neck and shoulders and upper back all play a role.

Whiplash accident and neck injury causes not only physical damage in the cervical spine, but it also sets up a nervous system dynamic of persistent and increasing tightness.

All the connective tissue of the neck structures is connected to the connective tissue of the jaw structures. Everything pulls on each other.

TMJ can be a symptom of Whiplash due to this constant resistance to getting pulled on. The other aspect of this, is that there are neck muscles that connect deep inside the jaw area. If they are tight, they are going to put tension on the jaw structure, that the jaw structure will constantly work to resist.

Headache from neck pain

Whether you have had a whiplash injury, or just have neck musculature that is chronically too tight, arteries that supply the brain with blood can get compressed.

Just like stepping on a water hose, when muscles gets tight it can step on the arteries that supply the brain.

As a general rule, Migraine headaches are from too much blood in the brain, and other headache is from not enough blood.

Tension headache is when your muscles get so tight they cut off blood supply to the brain. In my experience, this is easy to fix. Just massage the tight muscles until they relax, and the headache goes away. This can take just a few minutes.

If you have TMJ, it's safe to say that you have tight neck muscles too. This The Pain Causing Dynamic of increasing tightness and pain can cause headache by clamping down on arteries.

What causes headache pain to get worse? More tightness.

And left to it's own devices, that increased tightness is on it's way.

What Causes Headache From TMJ?
Migraine Factors

You can have -just- TMJ isolated in the jaw (rarely).

You can have -just- Migraine headache.

Or you can have some combination of both, and it can seem obvious that they are related.

Your Migraine Headaches can cause your TMJ, but TMJ Disorder itself doesn't cause a Migraine headache.

The -cause- of the TMJ -may- play a role in getting Migraines. And your TMJ syndrome can cause agonizing pain, even agonizing headache.

In my experience, true Migraine Headaches are caused by systemic influences like hormones, nutrient deficiencies, and other system level imbalances and problems, but not from the structural issue of a TemporoMandibular Joint dysfunction.

Tension headaches and TMJ headaches can be excruciating, but technically aren't migraines.

That was all kind of jumbled together, I hope it made sense.

My point really is, Migraine pain can result in a TMJ dynamic, but not the other way around. They are found together so often for just this reason.

The factors that cause a Migraine headache are systemic variables including mental and emotional stress.

The factors that cause TMJ are of the physical structure and mental and emotional stresses

The factors that cause headache if you have TMJ are either chronic muscle tightness cutting off blood supply, constant pressure on the teeth and bones of the jaw, or Migraine pain that is indirectly related to the TMJ.

What Causes Headache?

There are many factors that cause headache. TMJ is one of them.

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