Self-Reported Comorbid Pains in Severe Headaches or Migraines in a US National Sample

Keywords : neck, back, temporomandibular joint disorders, migraine, headaches

As indicated below, 15% of the US Sample reported that they had severe headache or migraine, and 64% had severe headache or migraine with at least 1 other pain such as TMJ disorder, neck or back. This goes to show that most pain can be attributed to a trigger point, one causing the other. For example, many of our patient’s migraine headaches are triggered by TMJ problems or severe muscle spasms in the neck and face. At AZ TMJ, we focus on treating these trigger points, in order to relieve your multiple symptoms.  Dr. Stan Farrell uses non-surgical treatment methods that are considered conservative and safe. If you suffer from migraine headaches, neck pain or TMJ pain, call and schedule an appointment at 480-945-3629.

Octavia Plesh MD, DDS*, Sally H. Adams RN, PhD, Stuart A. Gansky MS, DrPH

Aims.— To compare prevalence of self-reported comorbid temporomandibular joint muscle disorder-type, neck, back, and joint pains in people with severe headache or migraine; and analyze these self-reported pains in the 2000-2005 US National Health Interview Survey by gender and age for non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic blacks (African Americans).

Methods.— National Health Interview Survey data included information on gender, age, race, ethnicity, health status, and common pain types: severe headache or migraine, temporomandibular joint muscle disorder-type, neck, and low back in the last 3 months, as well as prior-month joint pains. Analyses included survey prevalence estimation and survey logistic regression to obtain odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results.— The study included 189,967 adults: 48% males, 52% females; 73% white, 12% Hispanic, and 11% black. Of the entire sample, 29,712 (15%) reported severe headache or migraine, and 19,228 (64%) had severe headache or migraine with at least 1 comorbid pain. Two or more comorbid pains were reported in 10,200 (33%), with no gender difference, and with Hispanics (n = 1847 or 32%) and blacks (n = 1301 or 30%) less likely to report 2 or more comorbid pains than whites (n = 6747 or 34%) (odds ratio = 0.91, P = .032; OR = 0.82, P < .001, respectively). This group also reported significantly lower ratings of self-rated health (P < .001). Differences in type of comorbid pain by age patterns were found.

Conclusions.— Severe headache or migraine is often associated with other common pains, seldom existing alone. Two or more comorbid pains are common, similarly affecting gender and racial/ethnic groups. DOI: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2012.02155.x