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Date of Award

Spring 5-23-2009

Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)

First Advisor

John Medeiros, P.T., Ph.D.


For adult subjects with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) of myofascial or joint origin, including arthritic changes, a self-care protocol with postural correction and active and passive jaw exercises decreases subjects’ pain at rest and with movement as well as increases jaw range of motion greater than no treatment, self-care protocol alone or surgery. Self-care protocol consists mainly of the application of heat and/or ice, relaxation techniques, finding the resting jaw position, eating a soft diet, and massage to painful muscles. The majority of articles matched our clinical question with the largest variance being what type of TMD was allowed in each study. Each type of TMD was covered in at least one article. Unfortunately, half the articles were under a 5/10 on the PEDro scale ranking of research methodology and therefore of low quality making us unsure how applicable the outcomes are to the general population. Also, because there are few MCIDs for outcome measures used in the studies, it is not known how much of the statistical significance is of clinical importance.


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