Methods: A total of 28 subjects with TMDs were randomized into 2 treatment groups: GPR, where therapy involved muscle global chain stretching, or SS, with conventional static stretching; but only 24 completed the study. Eight treatment sessions lasting 40 minutes each (weekly) were performed. Assessments were conducted at baseline, immediately after treatment end, and 2 months later. Measurements included pain intensity at the temporomandibular joint, headache, cervicalgia, teeth clenching, ear symptoms, restricted sleep, and difficulties for mastication, using a visual analogue scale. In addition, electromyographic activity and pain thresholds were measured at the masseter, anterior temporalis, sternocleidomastoid, and upper trapezius muscles. Two-way analysis of variance with Tukey post hoc test was used for between-group comparisons. Significance level was .05.
Results: Comparing the pain assessments using the visual analogue scale, no significant differences were seen with the exception of severity of headaches at treatment end (GPR, 3.92 ± 2.98 cm; SS, 1.64 ± 1.66 cm; P < .024). In addition, no significant differences were seen for pain thresholds and for electromyographic activity (P > .05).
Conclusions: For the subjects in this study, both GPR and SS were similarly effective for the treatment of TMDs with muscular component. They equally reduced pain intensity, increased pain thresholds, and decreased electromyographic activity.
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