According to a new estimate, migraines and other neurological diseases cost the US about $800 billion a year–and that number is only expected to grow as the US population continues to age.

Fortunately, there are some treatment options you can seek that will help reduce your personal cost–and improve your quality of life.

Young woman with painful headache

The Cost of Migraines and Other Headaches

Migraines and other headaches are one of the most common neurological conditions, affecting about 23% of the US. Migraines alone affect about 17% of the population. The cost of migraines is expensive, with estimates ranging over $8000 per year for each chronic migraine sufferer (those with more than 14 migraine days a month). Even those who experience only episodic migraine may incur nearly $3000 per year in costs.

It’s important to note that most of the cost of migraines is not actually related to the treatment of migraine. Nearly 70% of the cost of migraines is related to indirect costs such a productivity losses.

Productivity loss isn’t related just to the time when people have migraines. People who get migraines can also have lower production between attacks because they practice avoidance behavior: they try to avoid tasks that might trigger migraines. This is sometimes described as “cogniphobia” a fear of thinking too hard, but people with migraines might also avoid stressful situations or physical labor because these can also trigger migraine attacks.

When totalled up, the cost for migraines alone was an estimated $78 billion a year.

How You Can Reduce the Cost of Your Migraines

Part of the reason why migraines are so expensive is that many people have ineffective migraine treatments. If migraine treatments were effective at preventing or controlling migraines, people would experience fewer indirect costs, including lost productivity.

Effective migraine treatments are available, but not all migraine treatments work for everyone, and sometimes people don’t find the right migraine treatment for them.

For example, TMJ treatment is an effective migraine treatment that can help many people, but few people try it to control their migraines. People don’t see the connection between migraine headaches and temporomandibular joint disorder, but the truth is that many people with migraines have jaw joint problems that contribute to their headaches. People with migraines often have different tooth grinding patterns than those without migraines.

One potential link between migraines and jaw disorder is the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is the nerve that controls jaw muscles and receives pain signals back from jaw muscles and most of the face. Overstimulation in the trigeminal nerve is a known trigger for migraines–this is the mechanism being targeted by new migraine drugs in development. By controlling exertion of the jaw muscles and reducing pain there, TMJ treatment can reduce the burden on the trigeminal nerve, which can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.

Are you tired of bearing the burden of migraines? Are you looking for a new approach to treat your migraines in Westchester County? Please call (914) 526-2144 today for an appointment with a neuromuscular dentist at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake.