A Kennett Square Dentist Is Eliminating Chronic Migraine Conditions
Dr. Jeffrey S. Harris, Director of The Migraine Headache Relief Center of Pennsylvania
For a moment, try to generally remember what you were like, where you were, and what you were doing when you were 17 years old. Amy Johnson (not her actual last name) remembers that time of her life well, because that was when she first started having migraine attacks. She didn’t know at the time that those migraine headaches would follow her for another 19 years. When Amy was 36 years old she not only still suffered with migraines, but managing them had become more difficult over time.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Harris, Director of The Migraine Headache Relief Center of Pennsylvania (MHRPA) recounts some of her story…
“Amy first started having migraine attacks at 17, and she went looking for help in the all the areas you would expect. She took over-the-counter pain relievers for awhile but they weren’t effective. She then went to a doctor and was told to alter her eating and dietary habits. Unfortunately, removing MSG, foods with preservatives, cheese products, and so on didn’t help her. She then saw a migraine specialist who prescribed a battery of migraine medications and vitamin B supplements. That didn’t work, either.”
Amy is one of over 36 million Americans who have suffered with recurring migraines. Her story is like many others migraine sufferers who often try numerous things to cope with the pain but can’t get consistent results. Amy kept searching for solutions.
“I went for massage therapy on a regular basis (for a while) but the migraines were only more severe after that,” Amy said. “I also went to a chiropractor to try and get some relief but none of those treatments helped me.”
Amy continued to live with pain for years but then reached a tipping point where both her headache and migraine episodes became more frequent and worse. It happened right after she had a child.
Amy mentions, “Being a new mom, I started having my migraines increase to about two episodes a week – I was living with pain five days a week. I would have a headache, and most of the time it would turn into a migraine. That really affected my life in being able to care for my son, and also with my husband. Our weekends were almost always shot, it really started affecting our relationship because he was getting frustrated.”
Nearly two decades after she started having migraine episodes, Amy had more to care for in her life than ever before and yet she was in more pain than she had ever been. With no apparent relief for her migraine headaches in sight, she saw something one day that changed everything.
“One day when we were taking our son to daycare we saw Dr. Harris’s sign (for MHRPA),” she said. “So I called and found out some information and came in.”
After being evaluated by Dr. Harris and told that she was a candidate for treatment, Amy completed a 12-week neuromuscular rehabilitation and treatment course at MHRPA. The treatment results were nothing less than life-changing.
In her own words, months after treatment had concluded with Dr. Harris, Amy confidently states, “I am now migraine-free, and I had a total of three migraines at most during the 12 weeks of treatment. The three migraines that I did have were all treatable using Dr. Harris’s at-home treatment protocols or just using ibuprofen.”
Amy is one of hundreds of migraine sufferers who claim that the neuromuscular rehabilitation techniques that were used on her by Dr. Harris permanently eliminated her chronic migraine condition. In fact, Harris cites a near 95% long-term success rate with migraine sufferers.
“People come in here at their wits end and I’ve had patients who were going to commit suicide, that’s how bad it is,” Harris said at his office at 300 Old Forge Lane in Kennett Square, PA. “One young man attempted to hang himself twice. We were able to help him. For me, eliminating migraine headaches is the most rewarding thing I have ever done in my life.”
Harris says that traditional approaches to solving headache and migraine pain often fail because they address only the pain symptoms. Conversely, Harris’s approach involves treating the root causes for pain, and not just the symptomatic response.
“I am a dentist so I do things differently than a medical doctor. All a neurologist typically does is give the patient pills or drugs. My treatments change the way the body responds to the trigger,” he said. “I’m not treating the symptoms. I’m treating the root cause in how the brain gets the signal.”
His treatment protocols are a result of recent advancements in diagnostic technologies and a more sophisticated understanding of the relationship between dentally-related neuromuscular force problems and chronic headache and migraine pain.
“We now understand that (migraine pain) has to do with the muscles of the head, neck and jaw, and the way the teeth come together. Forces imbalanced by the way the teeth come together send a biofeedback loop through the trigeminal nerve bundle to the brain. The result is pain. The muscles need to work in harmony for pain-free function, and dentists like myself can now rehabilitate these muscles.” said Harris.
Harris states that neuromuscular rehabilitation techniques can address more than just headaches and migraines. They can also be used to mitigate TMJ pain, facial pain, chronic head and neck tension, and even tinnitus. While Harris’s treatments are not yet widely available, MHRPA is within easy reach of most residents of the Tri-State Region.
Dr. Harris often hears from sufferers who have tried everything else. “That’s who we need to hear from,” Harris says. “The fact that they’ve tried traditional approaches and not been helped only increases the probability that there may be neuromuscular force imbalances at work causing the pain. Many of those individuals can be helped without drugs or invasive procedures. We’re proving it.”
For more information visit www.headachereliefpa.com or call (610) 388-7040.
Dr. Harris attended Temple University School of Dentistry and joined the Academy of General Dentistry soon after graduation in 1985. He is highly committed to providing the most advanced treatments available today for general dentistry, chronic headaches and migraines, Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) and common jaw discomforts, neuromuscular imbalance and chronic tension, Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and Sleep Apnea.
Dr. Harris devotes significant time to his professional development to stay at the cutting-edge of medical dentistry, technologies, and patient care. Professional organizations include the American Dental Association, Dental Society of Chester and Delaware Counties, and Main Line DKU (Dentists Keeping Up.) Dr. Harris regularly attends many continuing education seminars to keep current with the latest advances in headache/migraine treatments.
In 2012, Dr. Harris founded the Migraine Headache Relief Center of PA (MHRPA) to bring the most advanced diagnostic and treatment protocols available in the world for resolving headaches, migraines, and TMJ to the people of the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan Region. Dr. Harris now serves a diverse group of male and female patients throughout the tri-state area (DE, PA, NJ) who could find help nowhere else for their unique and complex pain conditions. MHRPA is currently accepting new patients.