There are many potential migraine triggers that you can avoid. Chief among them is food. Once you identify what foods can set off a migraine, you can just steer clear of them. The same thing with activities that give you migraines, such as certain types of exercise or maybe playing some styles of video games. Avoiding triggers can dramatically reduce your incidence of migraines.

But did you know that there are certain muscle sites that have been shown to be migraine triggers? These muscle sites are often the target of migraine surgery. Surgery can be effective, but if you can manage to get similar results without resorting to surgery, wouldn’t that be better?

Woman sitting on couch with pain in her neck muscles. Certain sites on the body can trigger migraines

Muscle Sites Where Migraines Originate

Currently, researchers have identified six migraine trigger sites, where muscles, combined with connected tissue (fascia) and blood vessels can push on nerves, leading to migraines.

  • Site I is where branches of the supraorbital nerve (ultimately part of the trigeminal nerve) weave between your brow muscles over the eyes.
  • Site II is where the zygomaticotemporal branch of the trigeminal nerve (ZTBTN to its friends) goes through the temporal muscles.
  • Site III relates to nerves in the nose that can be irritated by nasal structures or buildup.
  • Site IV is in the back of the head, where the greater occipital nerve gets pressured by muscles in the neck as well as tissues that attach to the shoulder muscles.
  • Site V is irritation of the auriculotemporal nerve (again, part of the trigeminal nerve) in the temple above the temporomandibular joint.
  • Site VI is lower down in the neck, where the lower occipital nerve gets compressed by neck and shoulder muscles.

These are not the only sites where muscles can generate migraines. However, these are the six sites that are commonly agreed upon and regularly operated on.

When successful, migraine surgery can offer good relief. Around 50-80% of people who get migraine surgery might see significant reduction in their migraines. And the results seem to be long-term, lasting over a year.

Some studies even show that perhaps a third of patients getting surgery saw a complete elimination of migraines.

The downside of migraine surgery is that it comes with surgical risks, is expensive, and can cause irreversible changes, which may not be favorable.

Before Trying Surgery

For many people, the cost and risk of surgery makes it seem like a hard bargain. Migraines are bad, but is surgery the best way to manage them?

Fortunately, there are often ways to manage migraines originating from some of these trigger points without surgery.

One nonsurgical management method is BOTOX ® injections. BOTOX ® is a toxin that forces muscles to relax, so it can prevent muscles from putting too much pressure on the branches of the trigeminal nerve that set off migraines.

BOTOX is safe, overall, but its long-term use can come with complications. It can cause your muscle to degrade, which can change your facial appearance and may even lead to a loss of bone in the skull and jaw.

Other times, TMJ treatment can relieve these related migraines. TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders) is a jaw dysfunction that can cause irregular function in the chewing muscles. Since sites II and V are directly related to chewing muscles, and sites IV and VI can be indirectly affected by this jaw disorder, TMJ treatment has a fair chance of resolving most migraines related to these trigger points.

Best of all, TMJ treatment can be noninvasive and completely reversible.

Looking for Migraine Treatment in Savannah?

Are you unhappy with recurring migraines? Do you suspect or have you been told that your migraine is triggered by muscles in the head? If so, let us see if TMJ treatment can potentially help resolve your migraines.

Please call (912) 234-8282 today for an appointment with a TMJ dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in Savannah, GA.