Millions of Americans suffer from intense migraines, which make it difficult for them to fulfill their daily responsibilities. While some experience these debilitating headaches infrequently; others endure them on a daily basis. Recently, a group of researchers tested a popular over-the-counter supplement to see if it might help prevent or minimize migraine occurrence; and their results were promising.
To minimize migraine occurrence, many people take an antidepressant called amitriptyline. Unfortunately, this drug comes with some unpleasant side-effects, such as weight gain and daytime sleepiness. To test melatonin as a potential alternative to amitriptyline, a group of researchers recruited 178 migraine sufferers and split them into three groups.
The first group took melatonin over an 8-week period; while the second group took amitriptyline and the third, a placebo. Ultimately, melatonin didn’t just outperform placebos as a migraine preventative; it outperformed amitriptyline as well. Melatonin was also far better tolerated by subjects, who experienced fewer side-effects when compared to participants who took amitriptyline over the 8-week period.
What it Means to TMD Sufferers
A debilitating condition that causes a variety of confusing symptoms, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) often leaves sufferers with extremely painful headaches. Many times, people believe they’re suffering from migraines, when they are actually enduring a common symptom of TMD. If your chronic headaches are caused by TMD, melatonin isn’t likely to have much of an effect, since it won’t impact the root cause of the problem: your misaligned bite.
How Do You Know?
Most migraine sufferers experience visual disturbances at the onset of a headache. If you don’t notice bright lights, blurriness or any sort of aura; you may not be experiencing a traditional migraine headache. Additionally, if your headaches are accompanied by jaw popping, jaw pain, facial tenderness and chewing difficulties; you may have temporomandibular joint disorder.
By evaluating your symptoms, Dr. Durham and Dr. Strickland can help determine whether your headaches are migraines or a symptom of TMD. If you are suffering from TMD, our TMJ dentists can provide an effective treatment plan that will permanently eliminate your chronic headaches. To learn more, contact our office today.