|Posted on April 19, 2019 at 9:00 AM|
This morning I woke up and was greeted with many a sneeze. Most of us living in the Ohio Valley are plagued every spring and fall by seasonal allergies. Sometimes these little nuisances come and go, other times they stay and become a problem. Especially if one has chronic sinus infections and/ OR ear infections. Our dynamic skull requires air resistance to continue to function properly in our day to day lives. If something such as a sinus infection, trauma, ear infection, or other malady is present for a long period of time, our skull does not recieve the normal air resistance it needs to maintain compliance and therefore have normal function. Dysfunctions of the cranial bones can present in many ways, too many to list here, but if someone has had chronic sinusitis they may benefit from cranial manual therapy. Cranial manual therapy are gentle techniques that encourage our skull to become compliant with its dynamics again which allow for normal function of the cranial bones. What this means for a person suffering from chornic sinus infections, is less pain, less clogged sinus cavities and less headaches. Cheers to Spring!
|Posted on February 3, 2019 at 2:10 PM|
Yep, you read that right. Can you have a sore throat that is caused by your SHOULDER? Well, we arent talking about a sore throat in the classical sense but a muscle that runs from your neck to your shoulder. Yep, there is one! This muscle can have referral to the anterior throat when the restriction/trigger point is at the insertion of the shoulder. Yep, that muscle is called OMOHYOID. Heres a picture below:
|Posted on January 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM|
Have you ever wanted a quick way to see if you may be at risk or more likley to develop TMJ pain and or facial pain?
There is a simple way to check you own facial lines. All you need is a mirror!
Take a lookat your self in a relaxed position in a mirror. Where do your eyes sit? Do they sit level with one another? Or is one slight lower or higher than the other? Where do the corners of your eyes sit? Upward or downward.
Now, Look at your ears. Sepcially ear lobes. If you have detached lobes this is a bit easier to do but will still work for those who has lobes attaches to their head. Does one of your ears appear slightly lower of higher than the other? Take note of this.
Lasty look at your mouth. Where are the corners lying? is one lower than the other? are the equal? Is one lip curled up or flattened out?
If you noticed that one side you have an eye, ear and corner of the mouth that all are lower or higher OR if your eye and ears are lower but the corner of the mouth on the same side is higher, it would be an indicator that, if you are having pain, it would be from that side, or you may be likely to experience pain on that side in the future. Try it out!
|Posted on November 9, 2018 at 3:50 AM|
Don’t let TMJ (temporomandibular joint) dysfunction hijack your life. When it comes to managing chronic pain, small steps can make a big difference.
Sometimes Less is More
If you’ve had temporomandibular disorder (TMD) for any length of time, you are probably willing to try almost anything that promises a better quality of life. Keep in mind that an episode of worsening TMJ pain is often caused by inflammation around the joint itself. Sometimes, a few simple changes are all it takes to reduce the inflammation and stop the pain for a while.
Have you Tried and Failed?
We’ve all seen TMD handouts telling patients to eat soft foods, to use ice packs, and to avoid extreme jaw movements. These are well-intentioned ideas, but do they make sense in your daily life? Do you keep an ice pack in the office? Are you willing to subsist on a nursing home diet? Can anyone really avoid yawning?
TMJ Pain Relief for the Real World
Five Easy Ways to Relieve TMJ Pain Right Now:
1. Give up the gum habit.
Some people with TMJ dysfunction believe their symptoms might actually improve if they chew gum; after all, if jaw muscles get tight and sore, they should be exercised, right? Wrong. Unless you have taken a vow of silence and never eat solid food, your jaw muscles are getting enough of a work out already. If you absolutely must chew gum, be sure to chew for no more than three minutes before tossing it.
2. Try a quick and easy DIY massage.
Gently massaging the masseter—the powerful muscle that opens and closes your jaw--can relieve jaw tension and muscle pain. You may find it simpler to employ a set of therapy balls to do this massage. (Click here for a video tutorial.) This gentle technique is easy to learn and reduces muscle tension. It can improve chronic pain from conditions like TMD.
3. Fight pain with acupressure/Trigger point pressure.
Acupressure is a great way to help relieve TMD pain. Acupressure uses the same body points as acupuncture to activate the healing process. While acupuncture activates these points more strongly, you can try acupressure on your own. There are a host of online resources for finding acupuncture points. You may be surprised to discover that some of your most effective points for TMJ relief are nowhere near your jaw.
4. Relax your jaw.
Are you clenching right now? Whenever you notice tightness or pain, try to lower your jaw very slightly until your teeth stop touching. This is easily done with your mouth closed, so no one will notice. If your tongue is pressing upward on the roof of your mouth, this is the time to let it drop back down. The goal is to keep your teeth from touching, and to keep your jaw relaxed, for most of the day. With practice, you may be able to drastically reduce TMJ pain caused by clenching.
5. Check your posture.
Is your head on straight? If you’re not sure, have someone take a picture of you from the side while you sit or stand as upright as possible. If your ear is not in line with your shoulder, you may suffer from forward head posture. Along with the spinal misalignment mentioned here, forward head posture can contribute to TMJ pain. To help correct your posture, try this simple exercise: lie down on the floor—or stand tight against a wall--and tuck your chin to your chest as if you are trying to make a double chin. Repeat. This exercise strengthens the muscles in your neck and can help relieve TMD pain.
|Posted on March 2, 2018 at 10:20 AM|
What is Musculoskeletal Ultrasound?
Ultrasound imaging uses sound waves to produce pictures of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints throughout the body. It is used to help diagnose sprains, strains, tears, and other soft tissue conditions. Ultrasound is safe, noninvasive, and does not use ionizing radiation.
What is Ultrasound Imaging of the Musculoskeletal System?
Ultrasound is safe and painless, and produces pictures of the inside of the body using sound waves. Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves the use of a small transducer (probe) and ultrasound gel placed directly on the skin. High-frequency sound waves are transmitted from the probe through the gel into the body. The transducer collects the sounds that bounce back and a computer then uses those sound waves to create an image. Ultrasound examinations do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays), thus there is no radiation exposure to the patient. Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show structures under the stresses they endure with normal movement. It is this unique property that allows us to see compromises of ligaments and tendons quite easily.
What are some common uses of the procedure?
Ultrasound images are typically used to help diagnose:
• Tendon tears, or tendinitis of the rotator cuff in the shoulder, Achilles tendon in the ankle and other tendons throughout the body.
• Muscle tears, masses or fluid collections.
• Ligament sprains or tears.
• Inflammation or fluid (effusions) within the bursae and joints.
• Early changes of rheumatoid arthritis.
• Nerve entrapments such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
• Benign and malignant soft tissue tumors.
• Ganglion cysts.
• Foreign bodies in the soft tissues (such as splinters or glass).
• Dislocations of the hip in infants.
• Fluid in a painful hip joint in children.
• Neck muscle abnormalities in infants with torticollis (neck twisting).
• Soft tissue masses (lumps/bumps) in children.
This exercise can be simple but powerful by helping you start to appreciate seemingly simple elements of your environment.
The exercise is designed to connect us with the beauty of the natural environment, something that is easily missed when we are rushing around in the car or hopping on and off trains on the way to work.
1 Choose a natural object from within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. This could be a flower or an insect, or even the clouds or the moon.
2 Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. Simply relax into watching for as long as your concentration allows.
3 Look at this object as if you are seeing it for the first time.
4 Visually explore every aspect of its formation, and allow yourself to be consumed by its presence. Notice the color, shapes, textures, movements, and sounds.
5 Allow yourself to connect with its energy and its purpose within the natural world.
Throughout the month of March give your mindful observation a try. When waiting for a friend or family member practice this observation. Don’t forget about your breathing and continue to practice the mindful breathing you practiced last month.
|Posted on February 13, 2018 at 1:50 PM|
What is Central Sensitization?
Central sensitization syndrome (CSS) is a condition of the nervous system that is associated with the development and maintenance of chronic pain. When central sensitization occurs, the nervous system goes through a process called wind-up and gets regulated in a persistent state of high reactivity. This persistent, or regulated, state of reactivity lowers the threshold for what causes pain and subsequently comes to maintain pain even after the initial injury might have healed.
Central sensitization has two main characteristics. Although these are not essential to diagnose CSS, both involve a heightened sensitivity to pain and the sensation of touch. They are called allodynia and hyperalgesia. Allodynia occurs when a person experiences pain with things that are normally not painful. For example, chronic pain patients often experience pain even with things as simple as touch or massage. In such cases, nerves (called interneurons which are not normally turned on but are on high alert in patients with CSS) in the area that was touched sends signals through the nervous system to the brain. Because the nervous system is in a persistent state of heightened reactivity, the brain doesn't produce a mild sensation of touch as it should. Rather, the brain produces a sensation of pain and discomfort. Hyperalgesia occurs when a stimulus that is typically painful is perceived as more painful than it should. An example might be when a simple bump, which ordinarily might be mildly painful, sends the chronic pain patient through the roof with pain. Again, when the nervous system is in a persistent state of high reactivity, it produces pain that is amplified.
This exercise can be done standing up or sitting down, and pretty much anywhere at any time. If you can sit down in the meditation (lotus) position, that's great, if not, no worries.
Either way, all you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just one minute.
1 Start by breathing in and out slowly. One breath cycle should last for approximately 6 seconds.
2 Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow effortlessly in and out of your body.
3 Let go of your thoughts. Let go of things you have to do later today or pending projects that need your attention. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath.
4 Purposefully watch your breath, focusing your sense of awareness on its pathway as it enters your body and fills you with life.
5 Then watch with your awareness as it works work its way up and out of your mouth and its energy dissipates into the world.
Throughout the month of February give your mindful breathing a try. Schedule yourself time or on the fly. It may be difficult at first to let go of wandering thoughts and focus on one thing your breath. Try not to get frustrated just relax and try again later or the next day. The more you practice the easier it will become.
|Posted on January 31, 2018 at 9:10 AM|
An article appearing on January 3, 2018 in Nutritional Neuroscience describes a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that resulted in a reduction in migraine duration, frequency and severity, as well as a lower levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (a marker of inflammation) among participants who received daily supplements of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
The trial included 45 women aged 18 to 50 years diagnosed with episodic migraine. In addition to migraine prophylactic medication, 23 participants received 400 milligrams CoQ10 per day and 22 participants received a placebo for three months. Serum CoQ10, CGRP, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a), and other factors were measured at the beginning and end of the study.
Migraine severity, duration, and frequency per month were lower at the end of the study among those who were given CoQ10 compared to the placebo. In addition to a rise in serum CoQ10 levels, women who received CoQ10 experienced a reduction in TNF-a and CGRP at the end of the treatment period. “There is a correlation between neurologic inflammation and CGRP release in migraine,” Monireh Dahri and colleagues explain. "Likewise, CGRP transcription can be stimulated by endogenous inflammatory molecules, such as TNF-a, which increases the CGRP promoter activity and actuates MAPK pathway. In our study, reduction of TNF-a in CoQ10 treated group was accompanied with CGRP decrease, which can be explained by the above-mentioned mechanism."
"As migraine patients have higher level of inflammation and have been reported to have CoQ10 deficiency, CoQ10 supplementation may be a beneficial complementary treatment in migraineurs," they suggest.
|Posted on September 15, 2017 at 10:00 AM|
Great Tumblers a patient made us. We are so fortunate to work with such a great group of people!
|Posted on August 24, 2017 at 10:15 AM|
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect your lower jaw to your skull. There are two matching joints, one on each side of your head, just in front of your ears. They let your jaw move up and down and from side to side.
The abbreviation "TMJ" refers to the joint but is often used to refer to any problems with the joints. Such problems include:
Popping sounds in your jaw
Not being able to completely open your mouth
Other types of facial pain
Most people with TMJ problems have pain that comes and goes, but some have chronic (long-term) pain.
Signs and Symptoms
TMJ problems often cause the following symptoms:
Pain, particularly in the chewing muscles or jaw joint or an ache around your ear
Limited movement or locking of the jaw
Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders, or near the ear
Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when opening your mouth
A sudden change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
Also, sometimes earaches, dizziness, and hearing problems
What Causes It?
Sometimes TMJ dysfunction can be caused by an injury, such as a heavy blow, to the jaw or temporomandibular joint. But in other cases there may not be a clear cause. Other possible causes include:
A bad bite, called malocclusion
Orthodontic treatment, such as braces and the use of headgear
Wearing away of the disk or cartilage in the joint
Stress or anxiety. People with TMJ problems often clench or grind their teeth at night, which can tire the jaw muscles and lead to pain.
Who is Most At Risk?
The risk for TMJ problems may be higher with these factors:
Gender: more women than men seek treatment
Age: people ages 30 to 50 have the most problems
Children and adolescents with arthritis
Grinding teeth, clenching jaw
Malocclusion (bad bite)
High stress levels
What to Expect at Your Provider's Office
Your health care provider will check muscles in the area of the TMJ, and will:
Look for asymmetry or inflammation in your face
Listen for joint clicking or scraping sounds
Test the range of motion in your jaw
Look at your teeth for evidence of jaw clenching or teeth grinding
If you are having any neurological symptoms, such as numbness, your provider will give you a neurological exam. Your provider may also order imaging tests, such as an x-ray, computerized tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to look for degenerative disease or disk problems.
Reducing stress and keeping yourself from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw may help prevent TMJ problems or lessen the symptoms.
In many cases, you can treat TMJ dysfunction at home. Your doctor may:
Ask you to change your eating habits: cut food into small pieces, avoid too much chewing, and stop chewing gum.
Give you exercises that stretch the muscles around your jaw.
Your doctor may also recommend:
If your bite is out of alignment, your dentist may suggest you wear a biteplate over your teeth to help bring your upper and lower jaw into alignment.
If you grind your teeth in your sleep, you may be asked to wear a night guard over your teeth.
If stress is causing you to clench your jaw, your doctor may suggest stress reduction techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy to help you manage anxiety and tension.
Your doctor may recommend the following medications:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): to relieve pain. These drugs include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve).
Minor tranquilizers or muscle relaxants at bedtime to reduce spasms and pain.
Injections of a local anesthetic.
Corticosteroid injections, for severe cases.
Botox (botulinum toxin A) injections: can reduce muscle spasms
Surgical and Other Procedures
In some cases, removing fluid from the joint may help reduce pain, especially for people whose jaws lock. When other measures have failed, surgery may be needed to repair or take out the disk between the temporal bone and the jaw.
Complementary and Alternative Therapies
A comprehensive treatment plan for TMJ dysfunction may include a range of complementary and alternative therapies (CAM). Work with a health care provider who has experience treating TMJ and be sure to tell all of your doctors about any medications, herbs, and supplements you are taking. Treatments, including physical medicine, may help.
Nutrition and Supplements
The following nutritional tips may help prevent or reduce symptoms of TMJ dysfunction:
Eat soft foods high in flavonoids, such as cooked fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants that may help decrease joint pain.
Avoid saturated fats, fried foods, and caffeine. These foods may increase inflammation.
DO NOT chew gum.
Some supplements that may help:
Glucosamine: may reduce pain and help rebuild cartilage in the joint, which helps improve range of motion. Some studies show that glucosamine helps reduce pain in people with arthritis, which involves painful joints. One study found that glucosamine worked as well as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for relieving pain and other TMJ symptoms. Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin sulfate. Glucosamine may increase the risk of bleeding, especially if you also take blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin. Some doctors think glucosamine might interfere with medications used to treat cancer. Ask your doctor before taking glucosamine and chondroitin.
Vitamin C: is also used by the body to make cartilage. It may improve range of motion in your joints, including your jaw, although there are no scientific studies investigating vitamin C for TMJ problems. Vitamin C supplements may interact with other medications, including chemotherapy drugs, estrogen, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
Calcium and magnesium: may help the jaw muscle relax, although there are no scientific studies using them for TMJ problems. Magnesium and calcium interact with several medications, herbs, and supplements. They can also affect your heart and blood pressure, so be sure to tell your doctor before you take them.
The use of herbs is a time-honored approach to strengthening the body and treating disease. Herbs, however, can trigger side effects, and can interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. For this reasons, take herbs with care, under the supervision of a health care provider.
Cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) and lobelia (Lobelia inflata) may help reduce muscle spasms, although there are no scientific studies to support using them for TMJ problems. Rub 5 drops tincture of each herb into joint. Use on the skin only and do not apply to broken skin. DO NOT take these herbs by mouth (orally).
Although few studies have examined the effectiveness of specific homeopathic therapies, professional homeopaths may consider the following remedies for the treatment of TMJ dysfunction based on their knowledge and experience. Before prescribing a remedy, homeopaths take into account a person's constitutional type, includes your physical, emotional, and psychological makeup. An experienced homeopath assesses all of these factors when determining the most appropriate treatment for each individual.
Causticum: for burning pains
Hypericum perforatum: for sharp, shooting pains
Ignatia: for tension in the jaw
Kalmia: for face pain, especially with other joint pains or arthritis
Magnesia phosphorica: for muscle cramps
Rhus toxicodendron: for pains that feel better in the morning and in dry weather, and worse after movement or in wet weather
Ruta graveolens: for pains from overuse or injury
Contrast hydrotherapy, which is alternating hot- and cold-water applications, may:
Provide pain relief
Use hot packs and ice wrapped in a clean, soft cloth and apply to area. Alternate 3 minutes hot with 1 minute cold. Repeat 3 times for 1 set. Do 2 to 5 sets per day.
Very good evidence suggests dry needling can treat TMJ dysfunction. Several well-designed studies found that needling therapies can relieve pain long term for TMJ problems.
There is some Evidence that Cervical manipulation as well as manipulation to the TMJ as well can help with TMJ dysfunction and restore range of motion
This therapy is a very gentle form of body work. Practitioners use their hands to get rid of restrictions in the craniosacral system, the fluid and membranes surrounding the spine and brain. Although there are not many studies, some people say they feel better after craniosacral therapy. Find a practitioner who has training and experience with TMJ problems. You can interview several practitioners before deciding which one is right for you.
Some types of massage and chiropractic manipulation may help:
Reduce muscle spasms
Provide pain relief
Prevent symptoms from coming back
Biofeedback teaches you how to reduce muscle tension through relaxation and visualization techniques. At first, sensors are placed on your jaw, and a machine shows the amount of tension in your muscles. Using relaxation and visualization techniques, you learn to reduce the amount of tension around your jaw while the machine provides instant feedback so you can see how you are doing. Once you have mastered the technique, you can do the relaxation and visualization techniques anywhere, without the machine.
Two types of movement therapy can sometimes help treat TMJ problems: the Alexander technique and the Feldenkrais method.
The Alexander technique teaches you how to properly align your head, neck, and spine, and move your body. It can help relieve tension in your head and jaw muscles, which may reduce the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction.
The Feldenkrais method teaches you to recognize bad posture habits and movements that cause your body to tense. It is a gentle therapy aimed at making you more aware of how your body moves, and helping you develop an inner awareness of your body. Feldenkrais is popular with dancers and musicians, who often do repetitive motions that can lead to overuse injuries.
Prognosis and Possible Complications
About 75% of people with TMJ problems who follow a treatment plan with more than one treatment find relief. In rare cases, long-term teeth clenching or grinding, injury, infection, or connective tissue disease may cause degenerative joint disease or arthritis. If you have severe grinding, a nighttime bite guard worn inside your mouth may help.
You may need to see your health care provider regularly to make sure your treatment plan is working for you.
|Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:40 AM|
What does a headache behind the ear mean? Signs, causes, and treatments
There are several causes of headaches behind the ear. With proper medical treatment, these headaches can be relieved.
A headache behind the ear refers to any pain that originates from that specific area of the head. Though headaches themselves are very common, headaches that occur exclusively behind the ear are fairly unusual.
This type of headache pain can have several causes. The cause of the headache behind the ear will determine symptoms and treatment.
This article explores the signs and symptoms of headaches behind the ear and details what causes them. It also discusses how they can be treated to relieve pain and the associated symptoms.
There are several possible causes of a headache behind the ear. These include the following:
Occipital neuralgia[woman with a headache behind her ears]
Occipital neuralgia can cause pain behind the ears.
One of the most common causes of a headache behind the ear is a condition called occipital neuralgia.
Occipital neuralgia occurs when the occipital nerves, or the nerves that run from the top of the spinal cord up through the scalp, are injured or inflamed.
People often mistake sharp pain behind the ear to be the result of a migraine or similar types of headaches, as symptoms can be similar.
People who suffer with occipital neuralgia describe the chronic pain as piercing and throbbing. They also describe it as similar to the feeling of receiving an electric shock in the following places:
back of the head
behind the ears
Occipital neuralgia happens as a result of pressure or irritation to the occipital nerves. It typically only appears on one side of the head.
In some cases, the pressure or irritation maybe because of inflammation, overly tight muscles, or an injury. Often, doctors cannot find a cause for occipital neuralgia.
Mastoiditis is an infection of the mastoid bone, which is the bone directly behind the ear.
This infection is much more common in children than adults and generally responds to treatment with no complications.
Mastoiditis causes a headache behind the ear as well as fever, discharge from the ear, tiredness, and hearing loss in the affected ear.
The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the ball and socket joints of the jaw. These joints can become inflamed and painful.
[pointing out the symptoms of tmj on a model skull]
TMJ can cause aching behind the ear and it usually accompanied by jaw pain.
While most people with TMJ inflammation feel the pain in the jaw and behind the ear, others may just experience a headache behind the ear.
TMJ can be caused by:
Symptoms of headaches behind the ear can vary based on the causes.
Occipital neuralgia may cause intense pain to the back of the head and/or upper neck. Often, it can start in the neck and work its way up to the back of the head. The episodic pain is like an electric shock to the back of the head and/or neck.
Signs of an infection, such as fever or tiredness, often accompany mastoiditis.
People experiencing TMJ may sense jaw tightness and pain in addition to a headache behind the ear.
Additional symptoms that people who suffer from headaches behind the ear may experience include:
pain on one or both sides of the head
sensitivity to light
aching, burning, and throbbing pain
pain behind the eyes
pain with neck movement
The main causes of headache behind the ear often overlap. It is crucial to get a proper diagnosis so the condition can be treated appropriately.
For diagnosis, a doctor will ask a person questions about medical history. Information about any recent head, neck, or spine injuries should be included.
After asking questions, a doctor will probably do a physical examination. For this, the doctor will press firmly around the back of the head and base of the skull in an attempt to reproduce the pain through touch. This examination checks for occipital neuralgia, as this condition is sensitive to the touch in most cases.
Some additional steps in diagnosis may include a shot to numb the nerve. If a person experiences relief then occipital neuralgia is likely to be the cause of the pain.
In more atypical cases, a doctor may order an MRI or blood test to further confirm or rule out other causes of the pain.
If occipital neuralgia is ruled out as a possible cause of pain in the initial visit, the doctor will probably check for signs of mastoiditis, including fever and discharge from the ear.
For further diagnosis, a doctor may examine the jaw or recommend a visit to a dentist to check for TMJ.
Treating the pain is the primary method of dealing with a headache behind the ear, unless a root cause can be determined.
There are some at home treatment options for people to try before or in addition to a doctor's care.
[woman in yellow sweater sleeping on the couch]
A common way to manage headaches at home is to rest or nap in a quiet room.
Some at home treatments include:
rest in a quiet room
over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
massage of neck muscles
apply heat to back of neck
stop teeth grinding
As with any treatment options, a doctor should be consulted before adding medications.
Treatment of headaches behind the ear
When under a doctor's care, someone will have a treatment plan for headaches behind the ear that will include managing the pain and treating underlying causes of the pain.
Depending on the exact cause of headaches behind the ear, a doctor may prescribe medications, including:
prescription muscle relaxants
nerve blocks and steroid shots
antiseizure drugs, such as carbamazepine and gabapentin
antibiotics if mastoiditis is suspected
a night-guard for TMJ
Nerve blocks and steroid shots are often temporary and necessitate repeat visits to the doctor to be reinjected. Furthermore, it may be necessary to administer several shots before the pain is manageable.
In rare cases, an operation may be required. Typically, operations are used if pain does not get better with other treatments or keeps recurring.
Operations may include:
Microvascular decompression: This procedure involves the doctor finding and repositioning the blood vessels that are compressing the nerves.
Occipital nerve stimulation: A neurostimulator delivers several electrical pulses to the occipital nerves. In this case, the electric pulses may help block pain messages to the brain.
No matter the treatments decided upon, it is important to relay to a doctor whether or not they are effective.
In some cases, continued pain may indicate that it is the result of another condition, which needs to be treated differently.
Generally, headaches behind the ear are not the result of a life-threatening condition.
In many cases, people experience pain relief when resting and taking medication as prescribed or directed.
In most cases, people with a headache behind the ear should see full or nearly full symptom relief with proper diagnosis and treatment.