Botox for TMJ/TMD and Migraines
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is caused by jaw, facial muscle, and joint problems. The joint responsible for chewing is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and connects the temporal bone of the skull to the lower jaw. When Botox is injected into these areas it can help to relieve the tension and pain.
When you suffer from migraines or migraine-type headaches, it can feel like a huge vise is gripping your head and neck and applying an immense amount of pressure that just won't let up. Many suffer this excruciating pain often, and whether this happens to you every week or a few times a year, there's a good chance Botox could help eliminate a major portion of your suffering.
There are many aspects to migraine and headache pain. One major player is your muscles. You have very strong muscles surrounding your head, face and neck, and sometimes these muscles malfunction and start to cramp up almost like a painful Charlie horse. When this happens the muscles can't release. This results in excruciating pressure and tension. That pain can cause your other senses to go haywire to the point that noise and light become unbearable. The pain can even make you physically sick.
How can Botox help? Botox binds to these cramping muscles and causes the muscle fibers to release the contraction and therefore release the tension. The Botox protein binds to the muscle fibers and stays bound until the protein is inactive, which takes an average of about 3-4 months. The result is that your muscles behave normally during that time, and you live without the vise grips surrounding your head and neck.
We routinely help our patients reduce and eliminate discomfort from TMD, migraines, and headaches. Some of our patients are now headache free after decades of suffering. They get more enjoyment out of life, and it's a pleasure for us to play a part in that. Even if your migraines or headaches are more complex and involve more than just your muscles, Botox can eliminate the portion of your pain that comes from these muscles and might offer you relief from your suffering.
- pain during movement of the face and jaw joint
- locking or sticking of jaw
- jaw joint grinding or clicking sounds upon movement of the jaw
Grinding or clenching teeth and stress are a couple of factors leading to the development of TMD/TMJ and Migraines. Clenching and grinding can lead to chronic migraines by creating constant pressure on trigger areas such as the frontal, temporal, occipital, and nasal zones. Stress leads to an involuntary contracting of the maseter and temporialis, causing tension. The constant compression of these muscles causes involuntary muscle spasms, resulting in chronic headaches or migraines.
How Botox Can Help
Botox is used to stop muscle contraction but also relieves pain by preventing nerves from releasing inflammatory molecules. Botox inactivates the nerve endings that cause muscles to contract, eliminating involuntary contractions in the jaw.
Typical Botox treatment for TMJ/TMD includes around 50-60 units. The effects of Botox last for 3 months, as the constant workout of facial muscles in daily activity and sleep slowly remove the Botox.