Although it is not commonly recognized among the symptoms associated with migraines, new research suggests that many people with migraines may also experience limb pain. This research reminds us that migraines aren’t just a phenomenon in the brain–they’re commonly interlaced with the entire nervous system, which is part of the reason why TMJ treatment can be so effective on the condition.
Studying Migraines in a Family
For this study run by a combination of researchers from Britain and Chile, a 27-member family spanning over four generations was followed for 8 years. Of the members of the family, 8 had limb pain associated with their migraines. The age range for the onset for limb pain was as young as 8 years of age, or as old as 30. People had reported experiencing the limb pain for as little as five years or as long as 52 years. Most of the ones with limb pain (7 out of 8) also experienced migraine with aura.
Interestingly, the overall symptoms of migraines in this family seemed to change with age. younger sufferers were more apt to develop limb pain. Those that were in their adulthood were more likely to develop migraines. As migraineurs grew older, they were less likely to suffer the headaches, but often had more pronounced auras.
Problems of Misdiagnosis
Researchers note that one of the problems with this type of association is that it could contribute to misdiagnosis of migraine symptoms. Either migraines may not be recognized in a patient, especially in a child, or the limb pain might be attributed to another cause.
For adults, limb pain would likely be diagnosed as a trapped nerve, arthritis, or radiculopathy. In children, it might be blamed on growing pains or just trying to get out of going to school.
Are Migraines Primary or Secondary to TMJ?
One important consideration for people experiencing pains that are related to their migraines is to consider whether their migraines are the primary cause of their problems, or if both headache and limb, neck, and other pains are all secondary to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
TMJ can put pressure on the trigeminal nerve, triggering migraines, or cause regular, severe tension headaches that are mistaken for migraines. TMJ can also cause nerve pain or numbness in the neck and limbs.
If your migraines aren’t responding to treatment, it’s possible they are secondary to TMJ. To learn whether TMJ treatment in San Diego can help you, please call (619) 299-5925 for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Strober Dental today.