What are temporal myalgia headaches?
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Temporal myalgia headaches refer to a type of muscle pain in the temporal region of the head. This type of headache can result in radiating symptoms into the head, neck and face area.
Complications ranging from visual disturbances to serious health concerns, such as an increased risk of stroke, are possible when dealing with temporal myalgia headaches.
Myalgia is a term used to describe muscle pain. Temporal myalgia headaches can occur from an injury or muscular tightness, or can be caused by viral infections, inflammatory processes, temporomandibular joint dysfunction or problems with the joint where the jaw and skull connect. Other causes are lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and temporal arteritis. Temporal arteritis, otherwise known as vasculitis, is inflammation or swelling of blood vessels, especially the temporal artery.
Temporal Area and Muscle Pain
The temporal artery is a major blood vessel which branches out from the carotid artery in the neck and extends into the temple area of the head. The temporal area is behind the eyes on the side of the head. Temporal myalgia, or muscle pain in the temple area caused by inflammation of the temporal artery, refers to a type of headache pain.
Temporal Myalgia Headaches
Temporal myalgia headaches can cause a throbbing pain in the head or neck area, commonly on one side, jaw pain and a sensitivity to touch in the area. Other symptoms of temporal myalgia headaches include general fatigue and illness with appetite loss and possible fever. Vision disturbances may also occur including blurred or double vision or a general decrease in vision. In some cases, headache pain can travel down into the neck area or affect the joints, causing general body stiffness and pain.
Complications of Temporal Myalgia Headaches
Temporal myalgia headaches resulting from temporal arteritis can lead to damage of the temporal artery. This damage can result in loss of vision, and it can increase the risk for TIA or stroke. A TIA, or transient ischemic attack, is intermittent, temporary stroke-like symptoms, commonly an indication of a problem with the blood flow to the brain. A stroke is a decrease in the blood supply to the brain.
Treatment of Temporal Myalgia Headaches
Treatment of temporal myalgia headaches is dependent on its cause. Management of the medical condition causing the pain is key. Often, steroids are used to reduce blood vessel swelling resulting from temporal arteritis to prevent permanent damage to the temporal artery.
- The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy; Robert Berkow, MD, Editor-in-Chief; 1987
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