Headaches, Jaw Pain and Vertigo



Headaches can be a frustrating and troublesome complaint. Majority of people are bound to suffer from a headache once in their lifetime. Headaches can be mild to severe and can cause difficulties with managing everyday work and life.

There are two types of headaches known as primary or secondary headaches. Primary headaches are often caused by the headache itself and are not a result of an illness or disease. Primary headaches can arise from an overactivity of pain-sensitive structures in the head, muscle spasm in the neck and shoulder muscles, certain brain chemicals, poor posture, certain foods, alcohol, skipped meals and lack of sleep.

Secondary headaches arise from a certain disease illness like sinusitis, concussion, dehydration, ear infection, trauma, tumours  and hypertension. Secondary headaches may be pathological and life threatening and may require immediate emergency medical care.

It is important to look out for any red flags if you are experiencing a headache. When to seek medical care from a chiropractor versus when to seek emergency medical care at the emergency room is very important in the management of headaches.

These are considered red flag symptoms. You should visit a hospital if you have a headache with these symptoms:

  • Sudden/abrupt headache
  • Headache that feels like the worst/most severe headache that you have ever had
  • Headache due to trauma
  • Changes in vision (blurriness, double vision and blind spots)
  • Weakness/dizziness
  • Sudden loss of balance/falling
  • Speech difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting without nausea
  • Persistent/progressive headache
  • If you take anticoagulant therapy
  • Known cancer

At Spina Vita Chiropractic, we can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with the following primary and associated headache conditions:

  • Cervicogenic Headache
  • Cluster headache
  • Migraine headache
  • Tension headache
  • New daily persistent headache (NDPH)

Jaw pain
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your skull to your mandible (jawbone)  and is located on either side of your head, in front of your ears. Each joint contains a cartilaginous disc that acts as a cushion between the bony surfaces, allowing for smooth movement. Jaw pain may arise from a direct blow to the temporomandibular joint, grinding and clenching of the teeth (bruxism), a misalignment of the jaw joints, disc erosion, genetics, connective tissue disorders or arthritis.

Jaw pain can be a debilitating condition affecting speech and chewing. Jaw pain can also cause headaches, dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a clicking sound when opening the mouth, pain around the jaw and ears and locking of your jaw.

One of the most common conditions occurring at the jaw is TMJ (temporomanibular joint) disorder. Symptoms of TMJ disorder include: swelling around the jaw, pain and tenderness, aching pain in and around the ears and locking of the joint, making opening and closing of the mouth difficult. TMJ disorder can be a temporary condition and can usually resolve without surgery using chiropractic and self-management.

At Spina Vita Chiropractic, we can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with the following conditions:
• Temporomandibular joint syndrome
• Jaw muscle strain
• Cluster headaches

Vertigo and dizziness
Vertigo most often, is a symptom and not a condition. If you suffer from vertigo, it feels as if you or the environment around you is moving or spinning. It may be due to tiny calcium particles (canaliths) clumping up in the inner ear, a build up fluid and pressure changes within the inner ear or a viral infection causing inflammation around the nerves that control body space awareness and balance. The symptoms of vertigo can be barely noticeable to severe which can affect a patient’s balance, everyday life and activities.

Dizziness most often is an altered sense of spatial orientation where one can feel lightheaded or unsteady. Vertigo is a form of dizziness but the main difference is that the patient feels as if themselves or their environment around them is spinning. Common causes of dizziness can be due to BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), infection, poor blood circulation, a drop in blood pressure, medications, neurological diseases, anaemia, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) , dehydration, heat stroke, anxiety disorders and carbon monoxide poisoning.

At Spina Vita Chiropractic, we can help reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with the following conditions:
• Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
• Cervicogenic dizziness/vertigo

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