The Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome: An Unheeded Neuromuscular Disorder

  • Berit Helöe
  • Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg
Part of the Women in Context: Development and Stresses book series (WICO)


Myofascial pain dysfunction (MPD) is characterized by repeated masticatory muscle pain alternating with a feeling of stiffness or fatigue in these muscles and limitation of function. Clicking or popping of the temporomandibular joint often is a precursor to the disorder or may be an accompanying symptom. There are no clinically, radiographically, or biochemically detectable changes in the passive parts of the masticatory system (i.e., the jaw bones, teeth, joints, or ligaments).2,3 The pain is localized to the ear, temple, or temporomandibular joint region. It usually lasts for weeks or months. It may vary but often becomes gradually worse. Some patients report that it may be difficult to open their mouths in the mornings and that they cannot easily eat breakfast. Others find that their problems become worse in the evenings. As a rule, there is a diurnal variation of symptoms. A few patients report diffuse, constant, aching pain. However it is not so severe that it interferes with sleep.


Masticatory System American Dental Association Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Atypical Facial Pain Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Berit Helöe
    • 1
  • Astrid Nøklebye Heiberg
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Oral Surgery and Oral MedicineUniversity of OsloNorway
  2. 2.Psychiatric InstituteUniversity of OsloNorway

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