The Effects of Massage and Postural Correction on Trismus

The Effects of Massage and Postural Correction on Trismus

Purpose: The objective of this case report was to determine the effects that massage and postural correction had on a woman with trismus and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain.

Participant: The 42-year-old woman’s primary symptoms were trismus upon waking when she forgot to wear her bite guard which spread to her head and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms were said to be caused by stress and bruxism.

Intervention: Five 2.5 hour treatments including massage therapy and an thorough initial postural assessment were given over the course of five weeks. Progress was monitored by the postural assessment, range of motion testing, pre- and post-treatment VAS for overall pain, and a daily recording of TMJ pain on a VAS including room for any relevant qualitative data.

Results: The patient no longer felt the need to wear her bite guard after the third treatment and recorded no instance of trismus since that time. Maximal laterotrusion significantly increased bilaterally and the patient recorded only one instance of TMJ pain since the third treatment, compared to the seven before.

Conclusion: Despite the beneficial results obtained, much more extensive studies are needed to investigate potential applications of massage to trismus and TMD in general.


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