Millions of Americans suffer from migraines headaches, which make it difficult for them to function both socially and professionally. To minimize migraine occurrence, doctors tell patients to avoid so-called triggers, which appear to increase the risk of these debilitating headaches. Unfortunately, according to a recent study, migraine sufferers tend to have serious difficulties identifying their individual triggers, thanks to an assortment of ever-changing variables which muddy each particular situation.
Identifying the Causes
A study out of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center suggests that it may be unrealistic for migraine sufferers to clearly identify what’s actually causing their headaches. Traditionally, physicians tell patients to identify potential headache triggers by keeping journals, which maintain a record of diet, physical activity and other daily events. Unfortunately, this recent Wake Forest study suggests that this strategy is flawed.
According to the researchers, their study suggests that ever-changing daily fluctuations – such as physical activity, stress, hormone levels and even weather – make it impossible for sufferers to clearly identify the causes of their headaches. In fact, they estimated that a valid self-evaluation would require such ideally perfect conditions; it would only be likely to occur once every two years.
Is it a Migraine?
Confusing and unpredictable, migraine headaches can occur for a variety of reasons, based on each person’s individual genetics. Some people get migraines after eating chocolate; while others get them after strenuous physical activity. What’s more, some people think they’re having migraines, when they are exactly experiencing debilitating migraine-like headaches related to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD).
A Professional Evaluation
If your headaches are combined with jaw popping, jaw pain, facial tenderness or chewing difficulties, they may be a product of TMD. If this is the case, an effective TMD treatment will eliminate your headaches in addition to any other symptoms related to this disorder of the jaw.
As the Wake Forest study clearly demonstrates, self-evaluation is a poor strategy when it comes to headache prevention. For a professional evaluation, contact Dr. Berry’s office today. By examining your jaw and evaluating your symptoms, he can determine whether or not you have TMD. To learn more, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver today.