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Journal of Oral & Facial Pain and Headache
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J Orofac Pain 31 (2017), No. 3     10. Aug. 2017
J Orofac Pain 31 (2017), No. 3  (10.08.2017)

Page 225-232


Acupuncture in Temporomandibular Disorder Myofascial Pain Treatment: A Systematic Review
Fernandes, Ana Carla Bezerra De Carvalho Justo / Duarte Moura, Dayanne Monielle / Da Silva, Laura Géssica Dantas / De Almeida, Erika Oliveira / Barbosa, Gustavo Augusto Seabra
Aims: To carry out a systematic review of clinical trials published up to 2015 to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating myofascial pain in temporomandibular disorder (TMD) patients.
Methods: The databases used were the Cochrane Library, PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science; the dates of the articles surveyed ranged from 1990 to May 2015. The inclusion criteria were: (1) publications in English, Portuguese, or Spanish; (2) controlled clinical trials; (3) patients with TMD of muscular origin; and (4) studies that used acupuncture or laser acupuncture only for treatment. Reference lists of the included articles were hand searched.
Results: A total of four randomized clinical trials using acupuncture (traditional, trigger point, and laser) for TMD treatment met the eligibility criteria and were included. Although the studies featured small sample sizes and short-term follow-up periods, acupuncture yielded results similar to those observed in groups treated with occlusal splints and were significantly superior than those obtained from placebo acupuncture- treated groups.
Conclusion: Despite the weak scientific evidence supporting its efficacy, acupuncture treatment appears to relieve the signs and symptoms of pain in myofascial TMD. More controlled and randomized clinical trials with larger sample sizes are needed in this field of research to verify these initial findings.

Keywords: acupuncture therapy, controlled clinical trial, myofascial pain, temporomandibular joint dysfunction disorders