RESEARCH ARTICLE


Complementary Effect of Electro Acupuncture on Refractory Head and Neck Myofascial Pain: A Retrospective Investigation of Patient-Reported Outcomes



Amr S. Bugshan1, Zuhair Natto2, 3, Georg E. Maloney4, Arwa M. Farag5, 6, *
1 Department of Biomedical Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Dental Public Health, Faculty of Dentistry, King AbdulAziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Periodontology, Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA
4 Craniofacial Pain Center, Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA
5 Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, King AbdulAziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
6 Division of Oral Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Sciences, Tufts University, School of Dental Medicine, Boston, MA


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Creative Commons License
© 2022 Bugshan et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Oral Diagnostic Sciences, Faculty of Dentistry, King AbdulAziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; E-mail: afarag@kau.edu.sa


Abstract

Introduction:

Acupuncture (AC) is among the complementary treatment modalities to manage chronic myofascial pain. The aim of this investigation was to assess the additive effect of AC in reducing the intensity of primary chronic myalgia/myofascial head and neck pain in patients using oral orthotic appliances (OA).

Methods:

A retrospective chart review was conducted for 103 patients diagnosed with primary chronic myalgia/myofascial pain and received OA with/without AC at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM). Subjective reporting of face/TMJ/neck pain was recorded at the initial visit and at short-term and long-term follow-ups using patient-reported pain/discomfort numeric rating scale (NRS).

Results:

Most subjects were females (77.7%) with the mean age of the entire study population being 53 years old. In patients with refractory response to OA, combining AC with OA showed significant improvement in NRS score compared to baseline, in TMJ pain (P=0.023), neck pain (P= 0.055), facial pain (P=0.006). The addition of AC to OA has also brought refractory pain to low levels, comparable to what OA-only respondents reported [TMJ pain (P= 0.395), neck pain (P=0.694), face pain (P=0.553)].

Conclusion:

AC may provide a complementary therapeutic modality to manage refractory cases of primary chronic myofascial pain.

Keywords: Acupuncture, TMD, Myofascial, Pain, Occlusal appliance, Orofacial pain.