The purpose of this study was to assess headache response of unselected neurology clinic chronic headache patients to TMD stabilization appliance and self-management therapies, and to identify features of patients whose headaches are more likely to improve from these therapies. Twenty chronic headache patients in a nontreatment control period were provided appliance and self-management therapies, evaluated five weeks after therapy, and those who chose to continue using their appliances were evaluated three months later. The mean pretreatment Headache Disability Inventory (HDI) score of 64.5 suggested the headaches were severe. After five weeks, the mean HDI score decreased by 17 percent (p<0.003), headache medication consumption dropped by 18 percent (p<0.0001), and headache symptoms decreased by 19 percent (p<0.002). Comparing the three months with pretreatment follow-up, the fourteen participants who chose to continue using their appliances had a mean HDI score decrease of 23 percent (p<0.003), headache medication consumption drop of 46 percent (p<0.001), and headache symptom decrease of 39 percent (p<0.001). There was no correlation between response and headache type (p=0.722). These results suggest appliance and self-management therapies can be beneficial for many severe headache patients, irrespective of the headache type (tension-type, migraine without aura, and migraine with aura).
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