Scientists have found that 85% of patients with TMD also experience painful conditions in other parts of the body. These comorbid conditions include chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic headache, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, low back pain, sleep disorders, and vulvodynia. They are considered comorbid because they occur together more often than chance can explain. In addition, the conditions share other features. These findings are stimulating research into common mechanisms underlying all of these comorbid conditions. Indeed, other research indicates that TMD is a complex disease like hypertension or diabetes involving genetic, environmental, behavioral, and sex-related factors. Note that many of the comorbidities mentioned are more prevalent or occur exclusively in women.
The following are health conditions that may co-exist with TMJ Disorders:
To call attention to these little understood pain conditions that primarily or exclusively affect women, The TMJ Association co-founded the Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA) in 2009. CPRA is working to educate federal authorities and advance research to discover mechanisms common to these conditions and safe and effective treatments. As part of this effort, the CPRA has informational websites - www.ChronicPainResearch.org and www.EndWomensPain.org.