Chronic headache pain: Treatment of Melinda W.

Chronic pain, Headaches, Jaw pain, Muscle information, Neck pain, Neuromuscular therapy, Scoliosis, Shoulder pain, Stretching (Active Isolated method) / Thursday, May 14th, 2009

In the case of Melinda W., I found a scoliosis and lower limb length inequality (LLLI) that were tilting her shoulders, causing tension in the jaw (TMJ) and neck musculature and giving her chronic headaches. I recommended trying a heel lift to level her out, and she scheduled a TMJ evaluation at a major Boston dental clinic. They evaluated and treated her and, among other things, fitted her with a mouth guard to ease the jaw tension. She continued with regular chiropractic appointments, worked on her P.T. stretching routine at home and used her new mouth guard and heel lift. 

I treated the Trigger Points and tension in her neck, upper back, face and jaw with Neuromuscular Therapy techniques in my metro-West Boston clinic, instructed her in the Active Isolated Stretching method to increase the effectiveness of her P.T. routine, and taught her some self-treatment techniques.

Of the many muscles that can cause headaches, in the neck, the suboccipitals, upper trapezius, splenius and SCM (sternocleidomastoid) were the most active for Melinda. In her face and jaw, the lateral pterygoid, masseter, temporalis and corrugator muscles were contributing local and referred pain. (see Chronic headaches: NMT for more information)

Neuromuscular Therapy treatment progressed with weekly thirty-minute sessions over a year and a half to a point that Melinda was feeling better consistently. She still has some ups and downs, but recovers more quickly and has a lot more energy. She rarely has to take naps now and feels generally looser. She can get out of bed in the morning and enjoy her kids and her life! It’s all good!