TMJ Symptoms Causing Headache

by Rudy A.
(Fresno, CA)

can these headaches be brought on by tmj? ..cause my pain starts in the jaw area and go's to the neck and top of my head area ..i have sleep apena and type 2 diabetes..my diabetes is under control and for the sleep apena.. i use a bipap machine...and i have had some PANIC attacks back in day..so i get anxious and when this happens.. i get more pain and i get scared ...my doctor wants me to take relpax ..which scares me ...cause i read it can cause heart related problems in healthy people ..i havent taken anything other than motrin at a low dose ..my doctor wanted to do a mri ..but i cant aford the deductable..he never once asked me about my tmj ..and ive noticed ..that there was no mention of it here? has there been any cases where youve seen people with this condtion ? one thing i did noticed ..was when i strain..like doing crunchs , sit ups ..my headache gets worse ..now when i run ..i have no problem ..please dont tell me anything alarming ..cause my anxiety can bring on a panic attack ..my doctor never dose a exam..he just looks at me..and says youve had them before in the past..and now your freaking out? he's been my doctor for 20ys and he's always been right ! and i have had mris's and cat scan's in the past with the test being negative .so have any people ever complained with tmj?..can you please help me with this asap i see my doctor tomm afternoon.

Rudy A.


Hi Rudy,

Well based on what you have said, I am glad your doctor has ordered MRI's and that they are normal. Therefore your headaches are coming from either stress or anxiety. Yes,..anxiety attack symptoms can fuel headaches and make them worse.

If your heart is in good shape and you have no cardiac issues there should be no reason as to why you can't take Relpax for migraine. It is actually quite a good choice if you have some anxiety, because of all the triptans, Relpax and Axert do not seem to provoke this. Imitrex and Maxalt, however can provoke anxiety because they are fast acting.

As for the headache and TMJ you do have a valid point. Many times TMJ syndrome can provoke a migraine. Ask your doctor to examine you for this. We do refer to TMJ specialists from our center when this is diagnosed. A TMJ specialist is a dentist who does alot of this work, not just general dentistry.

Treatment of TMJ symptoms depends on the severity, so it is best to leave that to the recommendation of the specialist.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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