Correlation between cervical spine and temporomandibular disorders
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Neuroanatomical interconnections and neurophysiological relationships between the orofacial area and the cervical spine have been documented earlier. The present single-blind study was aimed at screening possible correlations between clinical signs of temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and cervical spine disorders. Thirty-one consecutive patients with symptoms of TMD and 30 controls underwent a standardised clinical examination of the masticatory system, evaluating range of motion of the mandible, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) function and pain of the TMJ and masticatory muscles. Afterwards subjects were referred for clinical examination of the cervical spine, evaluating segmental limitations, tender points upon palpation of the muscles, hyperalgesia and hypermobility. The results indicated that segmental limitations (especially at the C0–C3 levels) and tender points (especially in the m. sternocleidomastoideus and m. trapezius) are significantly more present in patients than in controls. Hyperalgesia was present only in the patient group (12–16%).
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