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I have shoulder pain and now am experiencing dizziness only while standing, and neck pain. I wake with headaches and jaw stiffness. What could these symptoms mean?

The symptoms you are describing are consistent with nighttime bruxism (teeth grinding). When patients grind their teeth at night, they tend to wake up with jaw stiffness, headaches, ear aches, and insomnia. People grind their teeth for many reasons but stress, trauma, and medical conditions can lead to teeth grinding. After attempts to diagnose the cause, the first line treatment for bruxism is often with dental guards at night.

However, your symptoms could also be caused by a number of different processes – most notably vascular or neurologic disorders. The most concerning of your symptoms is the dizziness which could indicate a serious underlying process.

Vascular disorders such as abnormalities of your carotid arteries could present with your described symptoms. In addition, neurologic disorders such as neuralgia, nerve entrapment, etc. can also cause your symptoms.

It is recommended that you be evaluated by your doctor with a physical exam to try to narrow. A CT scan of the head and neck may also be warranted.

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