3 minutes reading time (647 words)

Book Review - HA, Orofacial Pain & Bruxism

I am often asked on courses what textbooks I am currently reading or would recommend.

Honestly, as far as books go I wish I could read them all. I get a nudges in the ribs at 11.00pm with a “please turnout the light” request, and then at 2.00am “what are you doing with your camping headlight on?” I am pretty bad.


Each book  I will give a ‘battery’ rating in honor of my humble camping headlight

1 battery = poor (not worth turning on your headlight)

2 battery = average (some bright spots but overall dim)

3 battery = good (well lit, with mostly relevant information)

4 battery = very good (provides good quality, relevant information in abundance 

5 battery = excellent (a real blinder – go buy now)

Headache, Orofacial Pain and Bruxism: Diagnosis and multidisciplinary approaches to management

Amazons says ”has been written by clinicians for clinicians. It contains the collective knowledge of hundreds of years of clinical experience.”yawn….yawn”  The authors are drawn from a range of disciplines which regularly encounter patients with headache, orofacial pain or bruxism. They have described evidence-informed clinical practice derived from anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical concepts.”

Congratulations to Peter, Ken and Maria on compiling this book. In a nutshell this is a good read, and for many reasons.

The strength for me is that in addition to looking at the current literature from a manual therapists perspective, it also provides a window of how practitioners of other disciplines would approach clients. This is also a weakness. As with over 40 authors there is a degree of repetition when reading from chapter to chapter due to topic similarity. You get that.

Whether ascribing to the migraine+/- aura, tension type and cervicogenic headache definitions (IHS definitions) or for the trigemino-cervial-nucleus sensitivity theory; awareness of the global factors that will contribute to HA symptoms, leads to the concept of multi-practitioner involvement.

In short, the book has 27 chapters and is divided into 3 sections; Diagnosis, Approaches & Treatment.

The Diagnosis Section covers Peripheral (Red flags, HA, Migraine, TMJ, ENT Source, Eye Sources, Vestibular Sources), Central Mechanisms and Measurement. Here, there is a fair degree of repetition about classifications that could be thinned. However, it provides a good overview of what to consider initially when faced with a client presenting with neck, head & TMJ pain. Information about onset pattern, age relevance and medications I found helpful.

As primary contact practitioners (especially in my rural and remote situation), an understanding of the non-mechanical influences on symptoms is important. Non-musculoskeletal sources of pain; eyes, ear, nose, throat, vestibular and central sensitisation are also well covered and informative.

The Approaches Sections spans the manual therapists (physiotherapist, chiropractor, osteopathy) medical, dental, psychological and psychiatric treatments. Most readers of this blog will be familiar with the manual therapy approach (muscular, joint and neural) but I always enjoy reviews (getting older and forgetful!) as they consolidate and confirm correct management. There is always some clinical gem to be picked up when reading experienced authors. I designed a HA diary as a direct result of reading one chapter and clients love it. Simple, obvious but I had not previously implemented.

The Treatment Section is an extension of the Approaches Section. This covers trigger point, dry needling, laser, Feldenkrais, botox and neurosurgery options.

I didn’t check all references… but in the areas of personal interest I did note that some were incorrect (not there or wrong one referenced). Annoying when wanting to follow up themes. Diagrams were good, and cases studies are often used to illustrate treatment concepts. A good book to have on the shelf and better if you read it.

Bronze members (free) can access this and other textbook recommendations from the Members>Resources>Bronze section of our website after logging on. Easy links to Amazon are also provided.

Happy reading










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