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*Temporomandibular Joint, TMJ

Osteopaths treat the temporomandibular joint as part of the body as a whole.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders are characterised by chronic or acute musculoskeletal or myofascial pain with dysfunction of the masticatory (chewing) system. Treatment modalities include occlusal splints, patient education, activity modification, muscle and joint exercises, myofascial therapy, acupuncture, and manipulative therapy. Osteopathic manipulative therapy (OMT) for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) considers the functional interrelation between the head, the neck, the TMJ, and the body as a whole in the management of TMD.

In a study published in 2008, Monaco et al aimed to evaluate the effects of OMT on mandibular kinematics in 28 children with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs). In this study, 14 subjects received OMT, and 14 had no intervention. The authors reported no significant changes in maximal closing velocity, opening velocity average, closing velocity average, and maximal mouth opening (P < .07); and significant (intragroup) improvements in maximal mouth opening velocity (P < .03) in the OMT group, and concluded that OMT can induce changes in stomatognathic (mouth and jaw) dynamics, supporting this clinical approach to TMD.