Article Text

Effects of myofascial trigger point dry needling in patients with sleep bruxism and temporomandibular disorders: a prospective case series
  1. Paloma María Blasco-Bonora1,
  2. Aitor Martín-Pintado-Zugasti2
  1. 1Private Practice, Physical Therapy, Valencia, Spain
  2. 2Department of Nursery and Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, CEU-San Pablo University, Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to Dr Aitor Martín-Pintado Zugasti, Department of Physical Therapy, CEU-San Pablo University, Carretera Boadilla del Monte, Km 5,300, Urbanización Montepríncipe, Boadilla del Monte, Madrid 28668, Spain; martinpintado.a{at}


Objectives To investigate the effects of deep dry needling (DN) of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) of the masseter and temporalis on pain, pressure pain threshold (PPT), pain-free maximal jaw opening and temporomandibular disorder (TMD)-related disability in patients with sleep bruxism (SB) and myofascial TMD.

Methods Seventeen subjects (11 women, 6 men) aged 39±13 years (range 23–66) diagnosed with SB and myofascial TMD were invited to participate in this prospective case series study. Each subject received a deep DN intervention in the masseter and temporalis MTrPs. Pain intensity, PPT, pain-free maximal jaw opening and TMD-related disability were assessed before treatment, immediately after treatment and at 1-week follow-up. Jaw disability was assessed using the jaw disability checklist (JDC) at baseline and 1 week post-treatment only.

Results One-way analyses of variance showed significant improvements in pain intensity, PPT and jaw opening (p<0.001). Post-hoc analysis revealed significant differences between baseline and post-intervention follow-up time points in pain (immediate: Cohen's d=1.72, p<0.001; 1 week: d=3.24, p<0.001), jaw opening (immediate: d=0.77, p<0.001; 1 week: d=1.02, p<0.001) and PPT in the masseter (immediate: d=1.02, p<0.001; 1 week: d=1.64, p<0.001) and temporalis (immediate: d=0.91, p=0.006; 1 week: d=1.8, p<0.001). A dependent t-test showed a significant improvement in jaw functioning, reflected by a large reduction in 1-week JDC scores relative to baseline (d=3.15, p<0.001).

Conclusions Deep DN of active MTrPs in the masseter and temporalis in patients with myofascial TMD and SB was associated with immediate and 1-week improvements in pain, sensitivity, jaw opening and TMD-related disability.

Trial registration number NCT02587182; Results.

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  • Contributors PMB-B and AM-P-Z contributed to the planning, conduct and reporting of the work described in the article. Both authors approved the final version of the manuscript accepted for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from CEU San Pablo University ethics committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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