Complementary and alternative therapy use by patients with myofascial temporomandibular disorders

Karen G. Raphael, Jack J. Klausner, Sangeetha Nayak, Joseph J. Marbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: To examine the prevalence and predictors of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use among patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD), prior to their first treatment with an intraoral splint. Methods: Sixty-three women with a diagnosis of myofascial TMD, and who had never been prescribed an intraoral appliance, reported on their use of CAM and other treatments for their facial pain. In addition to providing a comprehensive symptom history, participants completed a 2-week daily diary in which they described the nature of daily efforts to reduce their facial pain. Results: Although more than half of all participants had not sought any prior treatment for their facial pain, 22.2% had received CAM treatment. The only single type of treatment more commonly used than CAM treatment was medication (28.6%). The most common type of CAM treatment was relaxation therapy (12.7%), followed by chiropractic treatment (9.5%). Although pain duration, pain severity, or mood did not predict CAM use, users were significantly more likely to report work or social disability associated with their facial pain and were more likely to report onset associated with an accident. CAM users were more likely than non-users to employ multiple pain reduction strategies over the 2-week daily diary report, including prescription medication use. Conclusion: A sizeable minority of women with myofascial TMD report CAM treatment for their pain, even prior to an initial treatment with an intraoral splint. Since empirical reports have not adequately demonstrated their safety or efficacy, there is a need for controlled clinical trials evaluating the utility of CAM treatments for TMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-41
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Orofacial Pain
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Care-seeking
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Myofascial pain
  • Temporomandibular disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Complementary and alternative therapy use by patients with myofascial temporomandibular disorders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this