Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Rev Stomatol Chir Maxillofac. 2008 Feb;109(1):9-14. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

[Efficacy of specific physiotherapy for temporomandibular joint dysfunction of muscular origin].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Département de chirurgie, service de chirurgie maxillofaciale et de chirurgie buccale, hôpitaux universitaires de Genève, 24, rue Micheli-du-Crest, 1211 Genève 14, Suisse.



Little explanation is given to patients with temporomandibular disorders and muscles dysfunction on the mechanism and the expected results of conservative treatment. The purpose of this prospective study was to evaluate the efficacy of specific physical therapy prescribed after this explanation was given and also after using a flat occlusal splint adapted only if muscle pain remained after physical therapy.


Twenty-seven patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction of muscular origin were evaluated after a mean of six sessions of specialized physical therapy with professionals. Patients were treated by oral and facial massages and were trained for self-reeducation. They were also trained for a specific exercise named the "propulsive/opening maneuver". Every patient was questioned on the subjective evolution of pain and the current maximal pain was evaluated with the Visual Analogical Scale (VAS). Clinical evaluation focused on tenderness of masticator muscles and also assessed the changes in the amplitude of mouth opening.


Ninety-three percent of the patients treated by specific physical therapy had a significant reduction of their maximal pain feeling (p<0.05). The recovery of an optimal mouth opening without deviation was also improved as was the protrusion. For 33% of the patients a flat nighttime occlusal splint was necessary as a complementary treatment. Twenty-two percent of the patients decided to change their treatment for alternative therapies (osteopathy, acupuncture, etc.). Fifty percent of the patients were convinced of the efficacy of the prescribed treatment.


Patients who undertake the specific physical therapy and who regularly practice self-physical therapy succeed in relaxing their masticator muscles and in decreasing the level of pain. Explanations given by the doctor concerning the etiology of pain, during temporomandibular joint dysfunction of muscular origin, and the purpose of specific physical therapy increase the capacity of self-relaxation. A flat occlusal splint is indicated for patients who grind their teeth and for those whose pain resists to physical therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Masson (France)
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk