SOURCE: Dr. David Shirazi

Dr. David Shirazi

June 10, 2009 14:00 ET

Dr. David Shirazi Says Cause of Headaches and Migraines Is Often Misdiagnosed: the Real Culprit May Be Jaw Problems or TMJ

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - June 10, 2009) - Sufferers of headaches and migraines sometimes spend many years and thousands of dollars going to different specialists trying to solve their problem. Dr. David Shirazi, director of The TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of Conejo Valley, Calif., sees patients like these every day: they have been taking medication for their symptoms, but have no idea that the cause could actually be related to jaw problems or temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ). They are often unaware of their jaw pain or that they may be clenching their teeth at night, and are only aware of the headache itself.

A California State Board Licensed Dentist and Acupuncturist, Dr. Shirazi is also the recipient of the prestigious Fellowship Award from the American Academy of Craniofacial Pain. His patient "Gloria" had migraine headaches for over twenty-five years. The pain was so intense it actually woke her up from her sleep several nights a week. She had become resigned to living with the pain until Dr. Shirazi was able to correctly diagnose her with a TMJ disorder and customize a treatment plan that alleviated her symptoms within a few months. "Before, I was never able to reliably make plans because of my migraines," says Gloria. "You look at life differently when you are happy and well-rested."

Over 10 million people in the United States suffer from TMJ problems at any given time, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), and many of them complain of headaches. The American Headache Society (of which Dr. Shirazi is a member) has classified headaches into three main groups: tension, migraine and cluster.

Tension type headaches typically have pain that radiates in a band-like fashion on both sides, from forehead to base of skull. Pain often starts or radiates to the muscles of the neck and upper back. Many patients with tension headaches develop forward head posture (FHP). FHP puts extreme pressure on the neck itself; for every inch of FHP, the neck must carry an extra 10 lbs. (the average weight of a human head). Tension headaches are commonly seen in Dr. Shirazi's patients who have jaw issues (clenching teeth at night, clicking/popping, and jaw pain).

Migraines affect 15+% of the population and three times as many women as men. Often occurring on one side of the head, a migraine is considered a vascular headache because it is associated with changes in the size of the arteries in the brain and outside of the brain. These vascular changes are ultimately caused by the trigeminal nerve/ganglion, which primarily receives its information from the jaw, mouth, face, and teeth and other structures. If pain signals can be significantly reduced or eliminated to the Trigeminal Ganglion the result seen is a reduction of migraines. What's most important however, is obtaining an accurate diagnosis, which may include multidisciplinary care such as acupuncture, chiropractor, naturopathic, traditional therapies and/or nutritional guidance.

Characterized by severe, unilateral pain around the eye or along the side of the head, cluster headaches are 5-8 times more common in men than women. Patients may also experience nasal congestion, runny nose, forehead and facial sweating, dropping eyelids or eyelid swelling.

"If you have been suffering from chronic headaches or migraines, the cause may be problems with your jaw, and there are many procedures that can help -- without surgery or heavy medications," says Dr. Shirazi. "The state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment tools at The TMJ and Sleep Therapy Centre of Conejo Valley have helped many patients, and are often reimbursed to patients by insurance."

For more information on symptoms and treatments of headaches, migraines and TMJ, visit www.tmjconejo.com or call 866-496-5710.

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