Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can cause recurring tension headaches and migraines. Muscle tension from your misaligned jaw puts pressure on nerves and causes debilitating headaches. Studies have shown that recurring migraines can cause feelings of social isolation. A little advanced planning combined with seeking support from other people can help you overcome this isolation and reclaim your life.
Create an Escape Plan
You never know when a migraine attack will prevent you from participating in social gatherings and events. You love hanging out with your friends and family, but don’t want to be caught by a migraine unprepared. This uncertainty often leads migraine sufferers to avoid making social or family plans. Even if you try to endure head pain for the sake of participating, your head pain will suck the fun out of the event, leaving you feeling like the only person in the room not having a good time.
Instead of avoiding the situation or forcing yourself to attend, make yourself an escape plan, which you can use if you feel a migraine coming on. If you don’t feel comfortable telling people that you are leaving with a headache, come up with a work or errand-related excuse in advance to eliminate the stress of finding one in the moment. Pack emergency headache medicine that can help stave off the headache until you make it home to rest. If you are prone to especially brutal migraines, look at nearby hotels and pricing before the event just in case you need to crash somewhere prior to heading home.
Open Dialogue with Your Family and Friends
Another part of the social isolation occurs when you feel like your loved ones underestimate your pain. Many people see migraines as “just headaches” which you should be able to power through to bring your child to soccer practice or to join everyone for pizza. Unlike physical injury, migraine pain is invisible to other people. Opening a dialogue about your migraines can help others understand why you cancel plans suddenly or disappear into a dark room for hours.
Participate in a Community of Your Peers
You can also prevent feelings of isolation by participating in a community of other migraine-sufferers. Whether you participate in forums, in-person support groups, or social media sites, speaking with others who know your pain can make you feel less alone.
Stop Migraine Pain with TMJ Treatment
One of the best ways to overcome social isolation from migraine pain is to prevent your headaches altogether. Some recurring headaches occur as symptoms of other conditions. Treating these conditions can help relieve your head pain. If you experience jaw pain or difficulty opening your jaw, TMJ might be the cause of your headaches.
TMJ pain is usually caused by a misalignment of the jaw joint due to a malocclusion (bad bite). Dr. Kevin Berry carefully assesses your jaw mobility in order to determine the source of your pain. In many cases, treatment starts with the use of an oral orthotic device called a bite splint, which repositions your jaw in order to relax the surrounding muscles and alleviate your symptoms. Dr. Berry assesses the need for other non-surgical treatment options on a case-by-case basis to ensure that you receive the best care for your individual needs.
If you want to learn more about managing your head and jaw pain through non-surgical TMJ treatment, please call (303) 691-0267 for an appointment with a Denver TMJ dentist at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado.