Chronic orofacial muscle pain: a new approach to diagnosis and management

Alpha Omegan. 1998 Jul;91(2):25-8.


The initial data from this study indicate that there are clearly identifiable chronic muscle pain conditions in the form of localized pain; myofascial pain or regional pain conditions; and fibromyalgia or generalized pain conditions. A clear difference exists between the prevalence of these conditions in male and female patients, with a higher percentage of female patients suffering generalized pain problems and temporomandibular problems. Generalized or localized pain appears to be an individual variant of a similar problem and pain patients may have a genetically determined vulnerability associated with bacterial toxins, particularly within the genitourinary tract. It appears that in fibromyalgia there is an underlying genetic factor that causes abnormalities in the muscle metabolic cycle, and preliminary data suggest that lipid anomalies predispose to fibromyalgia and possibly chronic fatigue syndrome. Patients report infectious events at/or around onset in more than 60 percent of cases. Seventy percent of fibromyalgic cases report orofacial pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Facial Pain* / etiology
  • Female
  • Fibromyalgia / complications
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / etiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / therapy*