Headache Treatment in Fitchburg, Massachusetts

TMJ Treatment


A headache, also known as cephalalgia, is a continuous pain in the head that affects the head, eyes, temples, nose, skin or the entire head. Headache pain can be either sharp or dull. Headaches are classified as either primary or secondary. Headaches, such as migraine headaches, do tend to run in families. Approximately 20 percent of children and adolescents experience headaches. Of the people who develop headaches, 70 percent of them are women. More than 45 million people in the United States experience headaches. More than half of them are migraine headaches. Headaches are the most common reason for days lost at work and school.

Types Of Headaches

Primary headaches

Primary headaches are further categorized into types. There are four types of headaches:

  • Tension, the most common primary headache
  • Migraine, a vascular headache that is related to changes in the brain
  • Combination, a combination of a tension and migraine headache
  • Cluster, a severe, less common form of headache

Secondary headaches

Secondary headaches are the result of a medical condition. They can include some of the following:

  • Sinus headache
  • Hormonal headache
  • Encephalitis
  • Concussion
  • Glaucoma
  • Flu
  • Stroke

Causes Of Headaches

Physical Triggers

  • Poor posture
  • Sitting in one position for too long a period of time
  • Sleeping in a position that places the head, neck and spine out of alignment
  • Physical exertion
  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Skipped meals
  • Alcohol use
  • Illegal drug use
  • Arthritis
  • Medication
  • Hormonal changes
  • Infection
  • Hypertension

Environmental Triggers

  • Food allergies
  • Sensitivity to food additives
  • Excess consumption of caffeine
  • Changes in barometric pressure
  • Exposure to noise or light

Psychological Triggers

  • Emotional conflicts
  • Lack of sleep
  • Depression
  • Grief
  • Fatigue

Treatment And Prevention Of Headaches

We take a neuromuscular approach to treating headaches. Most headaches are tension related, even if they appear as migraine or cluster-type headaches. Dr. McDowell has taken advanced courses at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies and has completed his Fellowship through the institute.

We have found that a bad bite, in most cases, is the cause of most headaches. With a bad bite, the muscles of the head and neck have to work extra hard to be able to function. Once these muscles become overworked, headaches are a common occurrence.

We use a computer program to make sure we have your muscles relaxed. Once we verify that we have your jaw and muscles relaxed, the headaches resolve!

Dr. McDowell told me what my problem was and he was absolutely right! In just a week, wearing my Neuromuscular Orthotic all the time, the tightness that I have had in my neck for 8 months was completely gone along with the muffled hearing and headaches! I feel great and have already told different people about my experience and will continue to do so.

Thank you for everything you have done for me.
– Claudette P. -Gardner, MA

Do your headaches feel worse than normal? Check out the TMJ page to learn about more treatment options.

Call 978-343-4031 to schedule a consultation today!

Get In Touch

Request An Appointment

Dr. McDowell's Office

Monday & Wednesday: 8am to 5pm

Tuesday & Thursday:8am to 6pm