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Craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD)

The specialist term craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD) is a collective term for a group of clinical symptoms which concern the jaw muscles, the jaw joints and associated structures. CMD mostly refers to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD, TMJD), pain and dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which connects the mandible (lower jaw) to the temporal bone of the skull.

Since there is a functional relationship between head, jaw and pelvis, there are indications that craniomandibular and temporomandibular factors are of importance for the development of symptoms in the head and pelvis area. Thus, craniomandibular dysfunction and temporomandibular joint disorders can also have an impact on the head and pelvic joints, as they form a functional unit.

Due to the complexity and multiple causes of CMD, achieving the most effective treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach based on different methods including and combining the work of dentists, orthopedists and physiotherapists.

As part of the physical therapy, manual therapy and thermotherapy (application of heat or cold) are considered to be an effective support in the healing process. It is highly recommended that the physical therapy is carried out in parallel with the medical treatment and that the care is provided only by CMD specialized therapists.

Manual therapy-type techniques combine skilled movements from chiropractic and physical therapy in order to remove pain and restore mobility in the musculoskeletal system. An ongoing therapy that focuses on building strength, endurance and coordination of related muscle groups is crucial in achieving a long-term restoration of mobility.

Acknowledging the importance that trigger points (TPs) play in myriad conditions affecting muscles, joints, and the skeleton, the trigger point shockwave therapy (TPTS) forms the focus of muscle tension and pain management therapy. Coupled with stretching and relaxation exercises, it leads to better mobility and pain relief.

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