Types Of Headache

What is TMJ Headache and How to Relieve It?

Headaches are part of every individual's life. However, their causes are not the same in every individual. While some causes of headaches can be a serious bodily anomaly, in most cases the cause behind these headaches is an improper jaw alignment.

What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for TemporoMandibular Joint. This joint is located at the back of the jaw. It joins the lower jaw with the rest of the skull and facilitates its movement (utilized by us in doing things like eating food and speaking). Harmless though it may seem, it can be the cause of a severe headache if the alignment of the joint is disturbed.

TMJ Disorder and Headache
The TemporoMandibular Joint is held in its place by muscles that go up to the skull as well as down in to our neck and shoulder. Excessive pressure is exerted on these muscles whenever there is an improper alignment of the joint. This pressure then gets spread evenly in the skull and neck muscles and the result is a headache. The headache can be a nagging one as it produces sharp sensations throughout the skull.

How To Avoid and Treat TMJ Headache?
* Let us talk about avoiding TMJ disorder first. TMJ disorder can be avoided by wearing a mouthguard or a splint while sleeping. This wouldn't allow you to unconsciously grind your teeth against each other when you are asleep. Also, pay attention to the posture of your body. Always stand straight and keep your jaws relaxed.

* Do some stretching exercise of the jaw to instill more flexibility in it. To stretch your jaw, relax your shoulders and neck, lift your head slightly towards the ceiling and then let your lower jaw drop down to its limit.

* Stretching is also the best way in which any stress stored inside the jaw muscles can be removed. However, you should not allow stress to reach such high levels that you start grinding your teeth. Instead, engage in some stress-regulating techniques. Joining yoga classes is one way in which you can do it.

* When you are suffering from a TMJ headache you can minimize the pain by doing a simple exercise. Pretend that you have a chewing gum in your mouth, placed between your molar teeth. Engage in some chewing movements of the jaw, always keeping in mind that you need to keep your jaw as straight as possible.

* If the above exercise doesn't work then you can take some painkillers. Usually, over-the-counter medications should help you. However, if they do not work then you need to visit your doctor. He/she can give you a suitable prescription.