Author: Katrin Vocke
Supervisor: Daaf Dejaeghere Msc Ost.
Aim: The aim of this study was the examination of the evidence relating to osteopathic treatments in cases of temporomandibular disorder, in terms of the parameters pain and freedom of movement. The studies were evaluated qualitatively.
Method: Research into the relevant literature was done via the databases pubmed, medline, google scholar and osteopathic research, in both English and German. Randomized controlled studies from the years 2005–January 2012 were included in the review process. The criterion for inclusion was the presence of at least one indicator of temporomandibular disorder, restricted mouth opening range, trigger points or pain in the chewing apparatus/neck musculature. The literature search was conducted in parallel by the author and an external research service. The studies included were evaluated qualitatively with a study-internal evaluation scheme.
Results: 13 studies were included in the evaluation. Through the application of fascia treatments, muscle energy techniques, mobilisations and manipulations for the temporomandibular joint and cervical vertebrae, as well as craniosacral techniques, 10 studies found a significant improvement in the maximum active mouth opening range and 10 studies found a significant reduction in pain in the temporal-mandibular region. 9 studies received a “good” or “very good” rating.
Conclusion: Osteopathic techniques do indeed have beneficial effects on the maximum active mouth opening range and pain intensity, in cases of temporomandibular disorder. The methodological quality of existing studies is good.