TMJ disorders usually comes from clenching or grinding the teeth. PT intervention focuses on reducing muscular tension in the neck and jaw areas. The treatment plan involves the use of soft tissue mobilization, dry needling, and specific mobility and muscle re-training exercises for the jaw. In addition, a bite splint is important to help manage clinching and grinding that occurs at night.
Cervicogenic means the headaches is being caused by an irritation in the neck. A common description of a cervicogenic headache is the pain is in the occipital region (back of the head) and normally unilateral (one side of the head/face) and the pain can start or get worse by neck motions and/ positions. An example would be when attending a dinner party and talking with someone sitting next to you. This position requires you to keep your head positioned a certain way (for example rotated) and you end up having a headache. While migraines commonly have an aura (aura could be flashes of light, vision changes, tingling), cervicogenic headaches usually do not include this characteristic. Research looking at cervicogenic headaches found excellent pain reduction with the right treatment. The treatment program involves exercises to strengthen of the neck and focus on increasing the mobility of the thoracic spine produced excellent results in pain reduction and decreasing the number of headaches people were getting. Along with a specific exercise program that includes postural education is also the use of joint mobilization/manipulation, soft tissue mobilization, and dry needling. This comprehensive program has been very helpful for many people.