It is widely accepted that almost all headaches wether classified as vascular, neurogenic , hormonal or muscular in orgins are caused primarily by the Trigeminal Nervous system. While there are many drugs that can be utilized in the treatment of migraines and other headaches one of the best diagnostic proceures may not only clarify why the headaches occur but eliminate, decrease and/or prevent them entirely without the use of dangerous and/or adicting meication.
Neuromuscular Dentistry May Be The Best Migraine Prevention Available For Many Patients. I HATE HEADACHES website provides extensive information on Neuromuscular Dentistry.
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The Trigeminal Nerve is so closely tied to headaches that prevention of noxious input can be a permanent cure for many patients. Patients who are tired of their lives being controlled or ruined by headaches should approach treatment cautiously. Initial treatment of headaches should always be preceded by a consultation appointmet with an experienced Neuromuscular Dentist. Patients should expect to spend at least an hour at this initial visit to determine if they are apprpriate canidates for a diagnostic appointment.
Dr Ira L Shapira in Gurnee, Illinois has 30 years experience in utilizing Neuromuscular Dentistry to elimnate, prevent and treat migraines and othe chronic headaches. He will usually spend 60-90 minutes with patients at the initia consultation and will then prescribe a diagnostic appointment appropriate for the patients specific disorders. Patients with more complex problems and longer history of pain are usually given a more comprehensive assessment.
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During the consultation it is frequently possible to turn off a head or neck pain in just a few seconds by deactivating myofascial trigger points. Dr Shapira, a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Manage explains that he can sometimes see amazing transformations in patients as they realize that finally some knows how to turn off their pain. “I recently saw a patient who accompanied her husband to my office for treatment of his sleep apnea. I noticed that “M” was holding her right temple and asked if she was having headache which she confirmed. I asked if I could try to “turn it off” and she agreed to let me attempt to relieve it. we spent less than five minutes deactivating trigger points and she was “pain free”. She then told me she had had a continuos headache for over 50 years which her husband, a retired physcian, confirmed. A appointment was made to deliver her husbands snoring and sleep apnea appliance and to do a consultation and begine treatment the following week. At the next a diagnostic evaluation was done and a diagnostic neuromuscular orthotic was deliverd to “M”. One week later M and her husband returned and she reported being headache free and sleeping much better because we had eliminated her husbands snoring s well. M has now been reconstructed to this Neuromuscular Position and remains headache free. She loves to tell stories about how her children and grandaughter are constantly asking if she still doesn’t have a headache. She also feels she has never looked as good as she does now since the dental reconstruction.”
The use of a diagnostic orthotic is n essential element of both diagnosis and treatment of headache patients. It allows for the corrction of the jaw joints, jaw muscles and most importantly the correction of the input to the Trigeminal Nervous system. It allows the patient to understand and evaluate treatment prior to making any irreversible change. Neuromuscular Dentistry is extremely conservative in it avoids the risk of making problems worse by making permanent bite changes as an initial treatment. If patients decide to make permanent changes they have multiple treatment choices but most importantly they have “test driven” their new bite and know the effects before embarking on the second phase of treatment. The diagnostic orthotic patient is essential to determine treatment direction and to protect the patient.
Centric Relation dentistry is another approach to treating patients. Dr Shapira was both a patient and practitiner of CR dentistry before becoming a strong advocate for the Neuromuscular Approach. “The problem with centric relation treatment” in Dr Shapira’s opinion “is that permanent changes are made early in treatment and if a patient becomes worse instead of better ther treatment is not reversible. Centric Relation is determined by the dentist manipulating the patients mandible to position utilizing the dentist’s muscles but Neuromuscular Dentistry on the other hand utilizes the patients own muscles to guide treatment. Removal of underlying pathology lets the body heal” according to Dr Shapira, “and then we just have to adjust the diagnostic orthotic to match the healthier position that naturally occurs.”
Dr Shapira has created two excellent website to help patients find answers to difficult medical problems:
http://www.ihateheadaches.org for headache and migraine disorders
http://www.ihatecpap.com for patients with sleep apnea and snoring and who want a comfortable alternative to CPAP
There are two excellent articles that should be read by anyone suffering from chronic headaches, Migraines or TMJ disorders published in Sleep and Health Journal:
The first article “SUFFER NO MORE: DEALING WITH THE GREAT IMPOSTER” discusses patients symptoms and stories and the second discusses Dr Shapira’s explanation of the science of Neuromuscular Dentistry.
Dr Shapira can be contacted for treatment of headaches, sleep apnea, and TMJ disorders at his Delany Dental Care practice where he also practices general dentistry with his partner Dr Mark Amidei.http://www.delanydentalcare.com
Dr Shapira understands that finding help for severe headache disorders can be very difficult and that many Neuromuscular dentists do not have his 30 years of experience in Neuromuscular Dentistry and so his office will make special arrangements for out of town patients to have extensive treatment over a 3-4 day period. Dr Shapira requests that prior to making arrangements for long distance patients that they give him a written history of their suffering.
He suggests that they need to explain not just when the problem started or what they believe caused it but to also include how it has affected their lives. What affect it has had on family relationships, how it affected their marriages, their children, and how they feel their life should have been.
It is very important to know what treatments have been tried in the past and the effect of these treatments on the patients overall health and wellness. What medications have been used and were there side effects. Explain what a good day is like, what a bad day is like. When were you lasty completely out of pain? The number of patients seen intensively must be limited due to practice constraints and some patients may be referred to Neuromuscular dentists in their vicinity.