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360 Neuromuscular Therapy

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24

Headache with Jaw Pain

Presenting symptoms

headache with jaw painA 45-year old male presented with a history of severe headaches and buzzing in his ears. He had visited two different neurologists, one who had ordered an MRI and the other a Transcranial Doppler Analysis, both with negative results. An internet search had led them to 360 NMT.

Evaluation, clinical reasoning & treatment strategizing

During the 360 NMT initial evaluation, it was revealed that this patient clenched his teeth at night. Additionally, he described a recent dental procedure that had exacerbated his jaw tightness, causing these muscles to ‘seize’. Prolonged contraction of these affected jaw muscles may have lead to ischemia (reduced blood flow), creating the ideal situation for trigger point formation. Palpation of muscles in the face, neck and jaw reproduced his headache pattern.

Treatment

NMT techniques to reduce the ischemia & trigger point activity in the affected jaw muscles were applied, both externally and intra-orally (gloved). The sternocleidomastoid, trapezius and posterior sub-occipital muscles were examined by palpation and reproduced migraine-like symptoms above the eyes. NMT opened up the sub-occipital space to help reduce his forward head position. The patient was advised to sleep in a position reducing the amount of contact between his pillow and mandible (lower jaw) thereby reducing the lateral pressure on his jaw at night. His dentist also recommended a temporary bite splint.

Results and follow-up

Within 2-3 sessions, the patient felt some change. After his fourth NMT session, he had significantly fewer headaches.  After eight, once a week sessions, his symptoms subsided completely. He has remained headache-free by wearing a night guard and improving his posture.

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