Many patients have questions about protocols for headache therapy. How does it work? What will happen in my therapy appointments? How will I feel? The following are some answers to those questions as well as some important things to remember.
What is the connection between my headaches and my bite?
The headache center and dental nerve center in the brain are essentially one and the same. While not all headaches are caused by poor occlusion (bad bite), your bite contributes to most headaches. Improper or unbalanced forces within the head, neck, and jaw can be caused by a number of factors including previous dental treatment, poor work posture, accidents, head trauma, and many other conditions. By analyzing the dental forces in your mouth, we can accurately predict whether your headaches are being caused by or being contributed to by an uneven bite (malocclusion).
What is this therapy designed to do?
This therapy rehabilitates the muscles in the neck and jaw using many of the same techniques used to rehabilitate athletes after injury. The treatments are painless and drug and needle free. Dr.Levy will also do some minor tooth adjustment to balance the dental forces in the mouth. Computerized range of motion and measurement of dental forces by the use of a T-Scan will be assessed and monitored throughout the therapy.
What can I expect the therapy to look like?
The sessions are approximately one hour in length. We will use a combination of ultrasound, Alpha stim and laser therapies to rehabilitate the muscles responsible for your headaches and jaw pain. The therapy is very relaxing and you may find yourself falling asleep.
Is there anything else?
Dr. Levy will also take impressions for an orthotic to be worn at night while you sleep. The orthotic will help to keep the teeth from clenching and grinding thus enabling the therapy to continue to work. He will also occasionally perform minor tooth adjustments to balance the dental forces in the mouth. You will be given a home care kit and it is very important that you do the home care as instructed. This will enable you to heal faster and will keep the pain to a minimum.
Is this therapy covered by insurance?
Medical insurance frequently covers these procedures. It depends on many factors such as carrier , deductible, co-insurance, etc. We submit all therapies to your medical insurance carrier and we offer flexible financing options to make this therapy affordable to everyone.
Will improvement be immediate?
Most people feel much better after the first treatment but it is not unusual for people to get a little worse initially. Your muscles and nerves are sometimes very inflamed and over stimulated. Therapy can aggravate the area and you may need to have an anti inflammatory drug regimen prescribed to help you through the first session or two.