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Title: An investigation into the relationship of myofascial trigger points in the head and neck region in association with temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Authors: Seagreen, Michelle Elizabeth 
Keywords: Neck pain;Myofascial pain syndromes;Chiropractic
Issue Date: 2009
Introduction: The aetiology of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD) is
not fully understood and the treatment of TMJD is controversial. Most treatment
plans are based on postulated aetiology. Treatment plans currently range from
pharmacological to surgical and occasionally physical therapy is also used for
any myofascial component. Myofacial Trigger Points (MFTP’s) in the head and
neck region have similar pain referral patterns as TMJD and there is overlap in
aetiology and epidemiology. If correlation can be proved to exist between the
severities of TMJD and MFTP’s then the treatment of MFTP’s can potentially
decrease the severity of TMJD and then the more radical treatments can be
Objectives: To determine whether TMJD was present and establish severity. To
locate any MFTP’s in the Sternocleidomastiod (SCM), Temporalis, Masseter,
Posterior Cervical (PC), Lateral and Medial Pterygoid muscles and determine
their severity.
Methods: A random sample of 25 participants were evaluated. A p value <0.05
was considered as statistically significant. Quantitative variables were
summarized using median, inter-quartile range and range due to skewness of
distribution, while categorical variables were described using frequency
distributions and bar charts. Spearman’s nonparametric correlation analysis, and
curve estimation were used to determine the existence of a relationship between
TMJ severity and MFTP severity. A scatterplot was used to graphically assess
the relationship.
Conclusion: The results suggested that the participants were actually chronic
neck pain suffers that developed TMJD over the long term as a result of chronic
neck pain changing the kinematic biomechanics or as a result of a completely
different and independent event as suggested by Foreman and Croft (1995).
A dissertation presented in partial compliance with the requirements for the Master’s Degree in Technology: Chiropractic, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2009.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Health Sciences)

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