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What’s New in TMJ Disorder and Pain Research?

Here’s a list of studies and research related to TMJ disorder that has been published since our last update about the OPPERA TMJ Research and Newsstudy.

  1. Orthodontics for treating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders – July 2010 – The Cochrane Collaboration – This was a review of the existing studies, trying to establish if braces reduced symptoms in patients with TMJ disorder. In the end, there was not enough data for them to analyze to find answers. Their conclusion: “There is no evidence about the effects of different types of orthodontic braces for problems associated with the joint between the lower jaw and skull.” It also said that there is an “urgent need” for more studies in this area. Link to the Study
  2. Acupuncture for temporomandibular disorders: a systematic review – Spring 2010 – Journal of Orofacial Pain – This a study done by Korean researchers, in which nineteen reports were analyzed to see if acupuncture was effective to treat symptoms of TMJ disorder.  The scientists found that there was “moderate” evidence that acupuncture was effective in treating TMD symptoms. This is good, and seems to point to acupuncture being an option for treatment of TMJ disorder symptoms! Similar to the above study, more research was recommended, including larger sample sizes and longer term studies.  Link to the study.
  3. Virus in CFS Patients Confirmed – A virus was found to be very prevalent in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. More testing will be done to figure out if patients that have the virus are just more susceptible to CFS/ME or the virus is actually causing the illness. This is amazing news for chronic fatigue patients! Link to the news.
  4. Migraine gene variant found. – Researchers, advocates, and patients have felt that migraines had a genetic involvement for a long time, but it has been difficult to isolate and find the gene. A gene has recently been found that ups the risk of having migraine (both with & without aura, but the link to migraine with aura was stronger). Link to the news.TMJ and Headaches
  5. Cymbalta Approved By FDA Advisory Committee For More Pain Related Conditions – Cymbalta was already approved for diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, depression, and anxiety. This decision adds two conditions to the list: chronic lower back pain and chronic knee pain. This is only a pre-approval, but the company is optimistic that the FDA will move towards a final decision soon. Also, keep in mind that this pushes Cymbalta closer to being approved for generic “chronic pain” – meaning, ANY chronic pain related condition. Have you tried Cymbalta?  Link to news.
  6. Marijuana Helps Chronic Pain Patients with Pain & Sleep – Research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal states that patients with post-surgical or post-traumatic nerve pain had improvement of pain and sleep when given various doses of cannabis. This study isn’t surprising, as many patients have reported that marijuana helps with pain and sleep, however, there hasn’t been much scientific research done to prove the claims. Many researchers, physicians, and patients are hoping that more studies are done in the future. Currently, marijuana is legal for medicinal use in fourteen states and Canada. Link to news.

Have you tried acupuncture for your TMJ disorder symptoms? If so, did it work?  We’ll be back soon with more research.. in the mean time, don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to pass on some news you found!

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