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June 2024

J Orofac Pain. 1993 Summer; 7(3): 275-82.

Pressure pain thresholds in patients with craniomandibular disorders before and after treatment with acupuncture and occlusal splint therapy: a controlled clinical study.

List T, Helkimo M, Karlsson R.

Department of Stomatognathic Physiology, The Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, Jönköping, Sweden.

Fifty-five patients (46 women and 9 men) with craniomandibular disorders and a history of pain of at least 6 months' duration participated in this trial. The patients were randomly assigned to three groups: one group to receive acupuncture; one group to receive occlusal splint therapy; and one group to act as controls. Pressure pain threshold, clinical dysfunction score, and visual analog scale measures were used to evaluate patients before, immediately after, and 6 months after treatment. A moderate, but statistically significant, correlation was found between pressure pain threshold and the number of tender spots in the masticatory muscles (tau = -.43; P < .001), degree of tenderness in the masticatory muscles (tau = -.43; P < .001), clinical dysfunction score (tau = .32; P < .001), and the visual analog scale (tau = -.25; P < .01). The short-term results showed a statistically significant improvement in all evaluations for both treatment groups. No significant differences were found in the control group. The improvements resulted in significant differences between the control and each treatment group immediately after treatment. At the 6-month follow-up, no significant differences in pressure pain threshold or clinical dysfunction score were found in the two treatment groups compared with the short-term results.

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