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Educational Brochures on Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions

This brochure addresses what are Chronic Overlapping Pain Conditions (COPCs), how COPCs are diagnosed, the complexity of the chronic pain experience, and how to work with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan. It is available by postal ma

Study Highlights TMD Evidence and Current Practice Gaps

The TMJ Association has long championed the need for strong evidence-based demonstrations of the safety and efficacy of TMD diagnostics and treatments. Sad to say, as the following journal article indicates, even among a network of research-oriented practices, dental providers are still resorting to such TMD treatments as occlusal adjustments in which teeth are irreversibly moved, ground down, or in other ways altered, a treatment for which there is no scientific evidence of efficacy.

Beware of Ticks and Lyme Disease

We are currently in the peak season for Lyme disease. Each year at this time we highlight this topic because we have heard from a number of patients over the years who were misdiagnosed and underwent unnecessary TMD treatments when they actually had Lyme

#*!"@!**! ... May Help Your Pain... and Improve Strength!

Our headline is adopting the comic strip convention of using symbols to denote swear words because we are intrigued by a report that swearing may have some health benefits.

Predictors of Opioid Efficacy for Chronic Pain Patients

Opioids are increasingly used for treatment of chronic pain. However, they are only effective in a subset of patients and have multiple side effects. Thus, studies using biomarkers for response are highly warranted.

Pain Drawings: An Important Tool for Health Care Practitioners

  • Aug 17, 2017

Last year we shared with you a study in which investigators found patients with more severe and chronic TMD are likely to experience other persistent pain conditions in other parts of the body, seemingly unrelated to problems in the jaw or face. Yet patients often do not mention these "overlapping" or "comorbid" pain conditions when they see a dentist or other health care provider about their TMD Click here to read this article. 

A 2016 study in Finland, published in the Journal of Oral Facial Pain Headache, found pain drawings to be useful as an assessment tool for identifying comorbid pains in patients with TMD. The following is the abstract summary:
 
AIMS: To assess drawings of pain sites and self-reported comorbid pains as a part of the biopsychosocial profiling of tertiary care referral patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain.

METHODS: A total of 135 consecutive patients referred to tertiary care for TMD pain participated. Patients drew all the sites where they had pain on whole-body pain drawings. Other assessments included self-reported comorbid pains in the head and body regions, the Finnish Research Diagnostic Criteria for TMD (RDC/TMD_FIN Axis II), and additional biopsychosocial and treatment-related variables. Patients were grouped into pain drawing profiles (localized, regional, and widespread) and the associations between these profiles and the biopsychosocial variables were statistically evaluated using Bonferroni adjusted P values and with logistic regression using SAS 9.3.

RESULTS: A total of 21% of the patients reported localized TMD pain, 20% reported regional pain (headaches and neck aches), and the majority, 59%, reported widespread pain (local/regional and multiple bodily pain sites). Patients with widespread pain profiles formed a heterogeneous group in which 28.2% reported severe and 30.8% reported moderate pain-related disability. The widespread pain patients reported significantly higher levels of depression and somatization, lower levels of general health, more sleep dysfunction, decreased ability to control pain, and greater health care needs compared to patients with localized pain (P < .05). Patients with regional pain profiles reported moderate scores on psychosocial functioning compared to the patients with localized or widespread pain.

CONCLUSION: The majority of tertiary care referral patients with TMD pain reported comorbid pains. Pain drawings were found a useful adjunctive tool for screening and as a part of comprehensive biopsychosocial assessment and treatment planning for patients with TMD pain.

 
Overlapping Conditions

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