Statement of the problem. Pulsed electromagnetic fields have shown therapeutic benefit in the treatment of numerous forms of osteoarthritis but have not been evaluated for their effects on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Purpose. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of pulsed electromagnetic fields in the treatment of patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Materials and methods. A multicenter clinical trial compared active treatment of 36 patients using pulsed electromagnetic fields to placebo treatment of 42 patients with TMD with pain in 1 or both TMJs and/or limited opening of less than 40 mm. Subjective parameters including pain intensity, pain frequency, degree of limitation, restriction of daily life, and intensity and frequency of joint noises were evaluated using a visual analog scale. Trained, blinded examiners assessed the clinical parameters according to Research Diagnostic Criteria for temporomandibular disorders before treatment (baseline), directly after nine 1-hour treatments on consecutive working days, 6 weeks after treatment, and 4 months after treatment. Statistical evaluation was done using the Friedman test, and by paired comparison between baseline and follow-up examinations using the U test (P<.05). Results. Seventy-six patients completed the study. For both the active and placebo treatment, significant improvements were seen in the subjective data (P<.01). Patients with anterior disk displacement without reduction also showed significant improvements in active mouth opening (P=.015), patients with ostheoarthritis only showed improvements in some of the subjective parameters (P<.03), and patients with anterior disk displacement with reduction showed no improvement at all. Conclusions. Pulsed electromagnetic fields had no specific treatment effects in patients with temporomandibular disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Oral Surgery