Lowell Weiner DDS
Do you ever wake up with a headache, or get one by the end of the day?
Are they associated with neck pain or do you have a separate neck pain?
Headaches, Neckaches and Sleep Apnea
A new study from the University of Kansas Medical Center has shown that these symptoms are strongly associate with sleep apnea. This is a new association. Non supine sleep provoked by sleep disordered breathing (as with sleep apnea) may play a previously unrecognized role in headache and cervical radiculopathy, or neck problems of the upper spine.
This information comes on top of the body's continued accomodation of postural changes that occur daily- everything that surrounds the throat- all muscles, etc. have to work to keep the throat and airway open. We know that jaw position pays a critical role in Jaw joint or TMJ problems, as it acts like a lever to the cervical spine and thus impacts the throat. This can decrease the space in the throat which can lead to decreased oxygen to the whole body and trigger headaches and sleep apnea. These headaches can occur in the early morning when getting up or throughout the day, and may be treated by well-meaning physicians with drugs- but this does not address the cause of the problem because physicians are not trained in the biomechanics of the jaw. Many times a dentist's treatment of a jaw problem by way of the teeth can improve or contribute to the dysfunction of the jaw, which then acts like dominoes, affecting other areas to create a headache, neck ache or sleep problem. To further compound the problem, every time we swallow, which is over 2000 times a day, the effect is magnified.