What causes chronic headaches, temporomandibular joint pain - WISH-TV |  Indianapolis News |  Indiana weather

Severe headaches or migraines can be debilitating, and when they become chronic and frequent, they can affect our quality of life. There are many causes or factors that contribute to chronic headaches, and Brian Horner, Owner / Director of Fast Track Physical Therapy, joined us today to explain some of them. Here are more of him:

  • Genetics: 1 or both parents have a chronic headache.
  • Weather changes: air pressure (barometric) pressure, temperature and seasonal changes. I also see an increase in dizziness with seasonal changes.
  • Rebound headache: From taking pain relievers too often, including over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
  • Food / Drink / Alcohol: Most food or drink isn’t bad for you, but it can be the trigger for your headache for your body. Keep a journal of any food / drink you had just before the headache. Caffeine withdrawal.

The headaches that our fast-track clinics are very successful in treating are:

  • Tension / stress headache: These are headaches that result from muscle tension / cramps and trigger points. When the muscles are cramped, they can cause pain in various areas of the head, the base of the head, the face, the neck, and the upper back. We use many techniques to loosen and relax the muscles, but we’ve found that dry needling is usually the fastest and most sustained benefit for tension headaches. We have had many patients come to our clinics who have been struggling with daily headaches for years and were able to resolve them almost completely.
  • Cervicogen: Headache due to abnormal mechanics of the upper cervical spine. Often times, nerves in the upper cervical spine can be irritated, reproducing headache and facial pain. This can occur with or without neck pain. Our therapists use many manual (hands-on) techniques to restore proper mechanical function of the cervical spine and reduce muscle spasms.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD): Headaches can also result from TMJ / jaw dysfunction. If the jaw mechanics are not working properly, the facial muscles are cramped, or the jaw is inflamed, this can lead to headaches. TMD can also cause pain when you eat, yawn, and even speak. Our therapists are experienced and have additional training in TMJ diseases.

So if you experience any of the many things I’ve discussed, we’d love to assess your condition and see if we can help. If you have had physical therapy, medication, or other medical care in the past and didn’t get relief, I would give it a try. We were able to help many people, even if doctors or other doctors could not.

Please visit fast-tracktherapy.com for more information.