The association between specific temporomandibular disorders and cervicogenic headache

Tzvika Greenbaum, Zeevi Dvir, Alona Emodi-Perlman, Shoshana Reiter, Pessia Rubin, Ephraim Winocur
Musculoskeletal Science & Practice 2021 January 12, 52: 102321

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Upper neck signs, symptoms and hypomobility have been shown to present with a higher prevalence in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). However, there is currently no evidence of an association between specific TMDs and cervicogenic headache (CGH). Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the odds ratio and the relative risk of CGH in patients with specific TMDs.

METHOD: 116 participants, including 74 patients with TMD (pain-related/intraarticular/mixed TMD) and 42 healthy controls took part in this study. The TMD diagnosis was made by senior faculty members of the Dental School according to the Diagnostic Criteria for TMD, while the cervical diagnosis was made by a qualified senior physical therapist. The analysis comprised the evaluation of the odds ratio of CGH among patients with TMD and the relative risk (RR) for CGH during 14-24 months of follow-up.

RESULTS: Significantly higher odds ratios of cervicogenic headache were found among pain-related and mixed TMD (12.17 and 10.76, respectively) versus healthy controls. During the 14-24 months of follow-up, there was no significant difference of relative risk for CGH among patients with TMD versus healthy controls.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS: The results support a clear clinical association between painful TMD (pain-related and mixed TMD) and cervicogenic headache.

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