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Revista Española de Cirugía Oral y Maxilofacial

On-line version ISSN 2173-9161Print version ISSN 1130-0558


CHO-LEEA, Gui-Youn et al. Efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of myofascial pain síndrome of the masticatory musculature. Rev Esp Cirug Oral y Maxilofac [online]. 2019, vol.41, n.1, pp.8-16. ISSN 2173-9161.


Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) of the Masticatory Muscles (MM) is one of the most prevalent diseases included in the Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome. Regarding its treatment, there are not standarized protocols. There is some evidence that acupuncture is effective in MPS of the MM treatment. The objective of the present study is to analyze the efficacy of acupuncture for the treatment of MPS of the MM, in terms of pain intensity reduction and duration of the pain reduction along time.

Patients and methods:

This is an observational prospective study. Thirty patients diagnosed of MPS of the MM were treated with 15 sessions of acupuncture. The variables of the study included were: 1) Percentage of patients that achieved a relevant clinical response (pain reduction of at least 50 % from the initial value, in a visual analogue scale, or a visual analogue scale pain value less than 30 milimeters). 2) Pain reduction after treatment, measured in milimeters in a visual analogue scale (VAS). 3) Maximal mouth opening measured in milimeters. 4) Stability of the pain reduction. The variables were evaluated before treatment and 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after.


The median of age was 42 years (33-53). Twenty eight patients were female (93 %). The follow up period lasted one year and all the patients completed it. At the end of the follow up period, 20 of the 30 patients (67 %, IC 95 % 49-81) maintained a pain reduction in a mild category (VAS < 30 %) or a total reduction of > 50 % from de initial pain value. Along the follow-up period, the percentage of patients that achieved a relevant clinical response maintained stable (67-80 %).


The results of the study show that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of MPS of the MM. Treatment effects appear early (< 3 months) and maintain stable within the first year.

Keywords : Acupuncture; myofascial pain syndrome; masticatory muscles.

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