The efficacy of acupuncture in the treatment of temporomandibular joint myofascial pain: a randomised controlled trial

J Dent. 2007 Mar;35(3):259-67. doi: 10.1016/j.jdent.2006.09.004. Epub 2006 Nov 13.


Objectives: To compare the effect of real acupuncture and sham acupuncture in the treatment of temporomandibulat joint myofascial pain, in order to establish the true efficacy of acupuncture.

Methods: A double blind randomised controlled trial conducted in the TMD Clinic, at the School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester. Twenty-seven patients were assigned to one of two treatment groups. Group 1 received real acupuncture treatment whilst Group 2 received a sham acupuncture intervention. Both the assessor and the patient were blinded regarding the group allocation. Baseline assessment of the outcome variables was made prior to the first treatment session, and was repeated following the last treatment.

Results: The results demonstrated that real acupuncture had a greater influence on clinical outcome measure of TMJ MP than those of sham acupuncture, and the majority of these reached a level of statistical significance.

Conclusion: Acupuncture had a positive influence on the signs and symptoms of TMJ MP. In addition, this study provides evidence that the Park Sham Device was a credible acupuncture control method for trials involving facial acupoints.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy*
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Eating / physiology
  • Facial Pain / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandible / physiopathology
  • Masseter Muscle / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Referred / physiopathology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sound
  • Speech / physiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome