Alternative TMD Migraine Treatments to Consider
Your temporalmandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. It is the hinge that allows you to do things like talk, chew and yawn.
Problems with the muscles that control your TMJ, called temporomandibular disorders (TMD), can cause many problems including migraines.
Migraines due to TMD can be difficult to treat. Conventional therapies include the use of medication, dentistry, and devices that are worn in the mouth. Application of hot or cold packs, biofeedback, and relaxation techniques may provide pain relief.
However, there are some lesser known but effective alternative therapies available for the treatment of this painful condition, too.
Prolotherapy is a well-established treatment that relieves pain associated with a wide range of disorders, including TMD-related migraine headaches. A strong glucose solution is administered via a series of injections into the temporalmandibular joint.
Normally, the body uses glucose, commonly referred to as blood sugar, to meet its energy needs. Health care experts have known for decades that injections of a strong glucose solution promote healing and reduce pain.
Most prolotherapy injections consist of a concentrated glucose solution. Other ingredients are sometimes added to the glucose that help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
Prolotherapy works with your body. It stimulates a healing response of your immune system. The result is increased flexibility of the supportive structures within your joint, pain relief, and less stiffness. This reduces headache pain and prevents future episodes of migraines. Some experts claim that relief may even be permanent.
Some health care providers offer you the option of having the procedure done under conscious sedation. Conscious sedation is a safe anesthesia technique that lasts for just a few minutes. If you opt to have conscious sedation, you will need someone to drive you home after the prolotherapy treatment.
Another option is to have local anesthesia. This provides numbing effects which are provided by the use of medications such as Novocain, or lidocaine. You will be able to transport yourself home safely if you receive a local anesthetic.
2. Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)
This is a portable technique you can use at home. You simply attach tiny wires to small pads called electrodes and place them along your TMJ. Your dentist can show you how to place the pads and regulate the current. The wires are attached to a small device that produces a mild electrical current, stimulating the muscles of your jaw and face. The current is very safe, and you are in complete control of the intensity of the impulses.