Headaches and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain are common complaints that can often be treated through physical therapy. Myofascial release (MFR) and craniosacral techniques are two effective forms of physical therapy that can alleviate the pain and pressure associated with headaches and TMJ.
Myofascial release is a form of soft tissue therapy that targets the connective tissue, or fascia, that surrounds and supports the muscles of the body. This technique can be used to alleviate pain and tension in the head and jaw, which can help to reduce the frequency and intensity of headaches. The muscles of the anterior neck, underside of the jaw and the tongue can adversely affect jaw and neck posture adding to TMJ issues. MFR can release the tension in these areas and correct alignment issues of the neck and improve occlusion, thereby, lessening the pain associated with TMJ.
Cranial techniques, on the other hand, focus on the bones of the skull and the tissues that surround them. These techniques can be used to release tension in the cranial bones and the tissues that surround them, which can help to reduce the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels that can contribute to headaches.
Both myofascial release and cranial techniques can be used together to provide an effective treatment for headaches and TMJ pain. For example, myofascial release can be used to release tension in the muscles of the jaw, while cranial techniques can be used to release tension in the skull. Together, these techniques can help to reduce the pain and pressure associated with headaches and TMJ.
Physical therapy treatment also can include teaching patients exercises to help maintain or regain range of motion and strength, as well as posture and ergonomic education to maintain healthy habits.