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Microsystem acupuncture can reduce pain intensity in temporomandibular disorder (TMD) in the short term, conclude Austrian researchers. A retrospective analysis of 887 treatments in 407 TMD patients was carried out who received microsystem acupuncture. All patients systematically underwent palpation of specific muscular tender points and their pain rating was assessed on a four-point Likert scale (no pain to strong pain) before and after treatment. The pterygoid muscles were most painful to palpation, with pain in the lateral pterygoid rated moderate to strong by 76% of patients and the medial pterygoid by 48% of patients. Palpation of microsystem acupuncture points revealed the strongest sensitivity (moderate or strong pain) of the oral retromolar points at the upper jaw (83%). After treatment, the pain intensity of all tender points had significantly decreased, with the proportion of moderate to strong pain ratings below 3% at most tender points. Overall pain intensity before treatment was 55.5 mm on a VAS scale, and this was significantly reduced to 29.6 post-treatment.

Muscular diagnostics and the feasibility of microsystem acupuncture as a potential adjunct in the treatment of painful temporomandibular disorders: results of a retrospective cohort study. Acupunct Med. 2018 Mar 22. pii: acupmed-2017-011492.

 

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