Causes of Craniofacial Pain Syndrome, Head and Neck Pain
With our 24+ years of experience and research, we have discovered that 95% of ALL headaches are caused by muscle tension. This tension can be related to stress and/or an improper harmony of the jaws, muscles and neck. Tension and/or imbalance can cause a constant strain on your head, jaws, face, and neck.
The Average Patient
The patients that we see at our office have exhausted their efforts in trying to find a cure for their pain. The answer to the problem is not very difficult to find. The link between tension, imbalance, strain, and pain can be explained by a phenomenon that we call Compression.
Compression causes blood flow changes and alters the electrochemical balance of the head, face, and neck. Changes in blood flow leads to improper pressure increases in smaller, adjoining arteries. This shift in blood flow also causes nerve and chemical disturbances, and eventual pain. See the Migraines Explained and Self Diagnosis page for more information.
All of the various reasons shown on this website and on our Treatment video can cause compression of the jaw joint and changes in blood flow. The reason for this is that the muscles overwork themselves in an effort to bring balance back to the area. They try to protect the damage being caused, unfortunately they cause more damage in the long term. Overworked muscles begin to tire out and eventually spasm. This causes the muscles to shorten and increase the compression. The patient begins to experience migraines and related facial pain.
Often, patients exhibit cervical (neck) problems related to their symptoms and to the jaw dysfunction, directly or indirectly. Many times we find an alarming number of these patients who have been misdiagnosed or completely undiagnosed by their medical professionals. Failure to address underlying neck and shoulder problems, by any headache or facial pain specialist, will lead to incorrect treatment and lack of pain relief.
The chicken and the egg really do go together when it comes to these treatments. Failure to address both problems leads to wrong treatment. Often, we see patients who seek treatment for neck and shoulder problems who do not receive a proper diagnosis for their jaw issues, and vice versa. Successful Head/Neck/Shoulder Pain treatments must take into account all of the structures of the head and neck. Treatment must be done in conjunction otherwise the outcome is limited. In other words, trying to balance the jaw in the right position, in the presence of neck and shoulder problems, is like swimming upstream. Similarly, trying to alleviate neck pain issues, without addressing possible jaw imbalance problems, is like flying a kite without wind.
For example, below is a sample of the many similar type cases that we treat at our office on a daily basis. Read the history to find out more about the relationship between jaw and neck function and correct treatment.
This is another case of how some specialists can “drop the ball.” This patient was brought to our office by his case worker. After several years of undergoing jaw and headache therapy with another specialist, both the patient and the case worker decided that things were not headed in the right direction. His pain was worsening. This is not uncommon. Many practitioners attempt to treat these complex issues, only to find out that they lack the knowledge, experience, and technology to be able to provide such care. Do your homework before you decide to undergo such care! The analysis for this patient concluded that he was suffering from a severe displacement of his jaw joints, accompanied by cervical (neck) dysfunction. The patient stated that these symptoms all began from his car accident several years ago. We truly believed him. His work had been performed for the purpose of restoring his bite and restabilizing his jaw position. It was actually doing the opposite!
During our analysis we also concluded that his neck problems needed further investigation. We referred him to a neurosurgeon, who would not allow him to return home. He was hospitalized immediately for neck surgery. The surgeon indicated to us that his neck was a “walking time bomb” and even a slight turn of the head could have paralyzed him for life. We could not believe this, as his case worker told us that he was receiving regular physical medicine and therapy for his neck. Needless to say, everyone was mistreating this fine gentleman.
After 6 months, his neck problems were improved yet his headaches and ear pain persisted. We were able to finish restoring his mouth with 14 lower crowns and 1 new upper implant crown. He no longer has any symptoms of headaches or jaw pain. His neck gets sore at time, but it certainly beats being paralyzed. Patient stated: “I owe you my life. You saved me from hell. If it wasn’t for you, I probably would be in a wheelchair right now. Furthermore, I have no more headaches and my jaws feel great. Truly a miracle!”
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