J CranioMand Func 2 (2010), No. 3 (20.09.2010)
Page 217-225, Language: English/German
Transcutaneaous electrical nerve stimulation in the therapy of craniomandibular dysfunctions
A current literature survey
Schwenk-von Heimendahl, Arnand
Transcutaneaous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is an electrophysical therapeutic procedure in which electrical impulses are applied to stimulate the sensory and motor nerves under the skin. TENS has been used in the therapy of craniomandibular dysfunctions (CMD) for decades now, beginning with the introduction of the Myomonitor (Myotronics, Seattle, WA, USA). The German Society for Functional Diagnostics and Therapy (DGFDT) recently published a review regarding TENS application in the treatment of functional diseases of the craniomandibular system, pointing out case reports with encouraging results in terms of normalization of muscle function and reduction of myogenic pain. However, there is still some controversy about the employment of TENS in CMD treatment, and the current results of the clinical trials investigating the use of electrophysical techniques in CMD treatment are not homogeneous. In the recent past, the neurophysiological effects of TENS have been a main focus of studies based on animal tests. The results of these studies are an important aspect in the efficacy assessment of TENS.
Keywords: TENS, CMD, literature survey, pain inhibition, neurophysiology