If you frequently suffer from headaches, you may have explored a variety of possible causes such as stress, poor sleep quality, dehydration and certain foods. However, one potential source of your headaches that often goes overlooked is jaw tightness. In this blog we will explore the connection between jaw tightness and headaches and offer some tips for addressing this issue.
Jaw tightness, also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, is a condition that affects the joints and muscles that connect your jaw to your skull. It’s often caused by teeth grinding- bruxism, clenching your jaw, or other forms of excessive jaw movement.
While jaw tightness can lead to a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as jaw pain and difficulty opening your mouth, it can also be a source of headaches. When you clench your jaw or grind your teeth, you’re using the muscles in your face and neck in a way that can cause tension and strain. This tension can then radiate up into your head, causing headaches that often feel like they’re originating from the temples, forehead or back of the head. Additionally, jaw tightness can lead to misalignment of the TMJ, which can cause pain and discomfort throughout the face and head.
If you suspect that your headaches may be caused by jaw tightness, there are several tips you can take to alleviate your symptoms:
1. Practice relaxation techniques. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate jaw tightness, so finding ways to relax your mind and body can help such as meditation, deep breathing or yoga to help calm your mind and reduce tension in your muscles.
2. Avoid trigger foods. Certain foods, such as those that are hard or chewy can exacerbate jaw tightness. If you notice that certain foods trigger your symptoms, try to avoid them or eat them in moderation.
3. Use warm compress. Applying a warm compress to your jaw can help reduce inflammation, muscle spasm and alleviate pain. Try using a warm damp towel or a heat pack.
4. Practice good posture. Poor posture can lead to increased tension in your jaw muscles. Make an effort to sit up straight and keep your shoulders relaxed throughout the day.
5. Seek chiropractic professional help. If your symptoms persist despite these self- care measures, consider seeking help from a chiropractor or dentist. They can assess your condition and recommend more targeted treatments such as physical therapy exercises.
6. Subliminal sleep hypnosis for jaw clenching or bruxism, these can be found for free off YouTube
Chiropractors are trained in treating the temporomandibular joint through several approaches such as jaw manipulative and mobilisation therapy, soft tissue massage, dry needling and home exercises which assists to reduce TMJ pain and symptoms. Another proven treatment known as the intraoral myofascial release also helps with TMD disorder. The chiropractor will release the muscles surrounding the joint, however this can only be accessed from the inner side of the cheeks.
Jaw tightness can be an uncomfortable and disruptive condition that can cause a range of symptoms, including headaches. By understanding the connection between jaw tightness and headaches and taking steps to alleviate your symptoms, you can improve your quality of life and reduce your risk of chronic pain. If you’re experiencing persisting headaches, consider speaking with a chiropractor to determine if jaw tightness may be a contributing factor.
Our Chiropractors are registered with all health care providers which means you can claim your money straight back through the HICAPS machine on site. If you have any further questions or would like to book an appointment, give us a call on 9300 0095 or head to our website to book at www.lakesidechiro.com.au.https://www.lakesidechiro.com.au/Schedule an Appointment