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Student Case Study: TMJD and Sinus Pressure

Therapeutic Massage used to Address Orofacial Pain with Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder and Chronic Paranasal Sinus Pressure: a Case Report

Frank Mazzella III


Background: Orofacial pain is characterized by any pain that is felt or referred around the head, face, and neck and effects up to 7% of the US population. The most common form of orofacial pain is temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD, which is the most prevalent treated condition associated with orofacial pain.

Objectives: To document the short-term efficacy of massage therapy integrated with manual therapy will reduce the severity of the symptoms associated with orofacial pain in its broadest definition.

Methods: The client was 29 year old male that is experiencing various degrees of cranial, neck, and muscular discomfort. Massage Therapy was performed over the course of a 5 week study in 8 sessions that lasted anywhere from 60-120 minutes. Postural charting was performed prior to each session and a goniometer was used to measure the degree of angulation from the PSIS to the ASIS. The client was given basic in home instruction and exercises to help with his postural distortions. EMG activity was recorded pre case study and post study to record the muscle activity in the temporalis, masseter, anterior digastrics, and the sternocleidomastoid muscles bilaterally.

Results: The client experienced a remarkable decrease in the overall pain level in the symptoms that he was experiencing before massage intervention.

Conclusion: This case study did show how an individual with chronic orofacial pain can have their symptoms lowered with integrative massage therapy protocols. Further research should be done with a category that is not as broad as orofacial pain. Performing a study on one of the symptoms that defines orofacial pain would be more ideal. This would rule out many of the variables a researcher can run into with a medical category so vague.

Key Words

Orofacial Pain, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, Myofascial

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