Prevalence of cervical spinal pain in craniomandibular pain patients

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It has often been suggested that patients with a craniomandibular disorder (CMD) more often suffer from a cervical spine disorder (CSD) than persons without a CMD. However, in most studies no controlled, blind design was used, and conclusions were based on differing signs and symptoms. In this study, the recognition of CMD and CSD was based upon the presence of pain. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of cervical spinal pain in persons with or without craniomandibular pain, using a controlled, single-blind design. From 250 persons, a standardised oral history was taken, and a physical examination of the masticatory system and the neck was performed. Three classification models were used: one based on symptoms only; a second on signs only; and a third one based on a combination of symptoms and signs. The CMD patients were also subdivided in three subgroups: patients with mainly myogenous pain; mainly arthrogenous pain; and both myogenous and arthrogenous pain. Craniomandibular pain patients more often showed cervical spinal pain than persons without craniomandibular pain, independent of the classification model used. No difference in the prevalence of cervical spinal pain was found between the three subgroups of craniomandibular pain patients.

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