Influence of Temple Headache Frequency on Physical Functioning and Emotional Functioning in Subjects with Temporomandibular Disorder Pain

Key words: headache, jaw function, TMJ, TMD , temporomandibular disorders, tension-type headache

Thomas List, DDS, Odont Dr/Mike T. John, DDS, MPH, PhD/Richard Ohrbach, DDS, PhD/Eric L. Schiffman, DDS, MS/Edmond L. Truelove, DDS, MSD/Gary C. Anderson, DDS, MS

Aims: To investigate the relationship of headache frequency with patient-reported physical functioning and emotional functioning in temporomandibular disorder (TMD) subjects with concurrent temple headache.

Methods: The Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (RDC/TMD) Validation Project identified, as a subset of 614 TMD cases and 91 controls (n = 705), 309 subjects with concurrent TMD pain diagnoses (RDC/TMD) and temple headache. The temple headaches were subdivided into infrequent, frequent, and chronic headache according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, second edition (ICHD–II). Study variables included self-report measures of physical functioning (Jaw Function Limitation Scale [JFLS], Graded Chronic Pain Scale [GCPS], Short Form–12 [SF–12]) and emotional functioning (depression and anxiety as measured by the Symptom Checklist–90R/SCL–90R). Differences among the three headache subgroups were characterized by increasing headache frequency. The relationship between ordered headache frequency and physical as well as emotional functioning- was analyzed using linear regression and trend tests for proportions.

Results: Physical functioning, as assessed with the JFLS (P < .001), SF-12 (P < .001), and GCPS (P < .001), was significantly associated with increased headache frequency. Emotional functioning,- reflected in depression and anxiety, was also associated with increased frequency- of headache (both P < .001).

Conclusion: Headache frequency- was substantially correlated with reduced physical functioning and emotional functioning in subjects with TMD and concurrent temple headaches. A secondary finding was that headache was precipitated by jaw activities more often in subjects with more frequent temple headaches. J OROFAC PAIN 2012;26:83–90

As research has shown, suffering from TMD and concurrent headaches has proven to substantially reduce not only physical functioning but emotional functioning, as well. Here at AZ TMJ, we focus our practice solely on treating TMJ disorders and concurrent migraine headaches. Dr. Stan Farrell is Board Certified and has extensive training in treating all types of orofacial pain disorders. If you suffer from jaw pain, TMJ, headaches or other facial pain, you’ve come to the right place! There are many non-surgical, conservative treatment options available to help you regain your daily functioning. Call and schedule an appointment today at 480-945-3629.