Complementary Treatments for Temporomandibular
Little information exists about specific complementary and
alternative medicine (CAM) therapies used for particular health conditions. This
study examines the use of CAM therapies among patients with temporomandibular
The authors surveyed 192 patients with documented TMD as part
of a larger project on the effectiveness of various CAM modalities for TMD
patients. The survey asked about use of and attitudes toward specific CAM
therapies for treating TMD and other patient-identified health conditions. The
survey also measured physical health, health behavior, and psychosocial
Nearly two thirds of the respondents (62.5%; n = 120) reported
using CAM therapies for TMD or a related condition. Of all the therapies
reported, massage was rated as the most frequent and among the most satisfactory
and helpful. In general, respondents who used CAM for their TMD reported being
most satisfied with the "hands on" CAM therapies (massage, acupuncture, and
chiropractic care). The vast majority of respondents reported using CAM
approaches for TMD simultaneously with conventional care (95.6%; 66 of 69).
Those using CAM for TMD tended to be older, had a history of multiple medical
problems, and reported more positive psychologic functioning. Respondents who
most often reported CAM treatment as "very helpful" for their TMD were likely to
be healthier (i.e., reporting higher levels of exercise and fewer sleep
The authors conclude that given the frequent use of CAM
treatments by their respondents, allopathic providers should inquire about the
adjunctive use of CAM among their TMD patients.
DeBarr, L.L., et al. Use of complementary and alternative
medicine for temporomandibular disorders. Journal of orofacial pain 17(3)224-36.
Evidence Does Not Clearly Support Acupuncture for
Acupuncture, in the form of insertion of needles bilaterally
in the outer ears, is widely used for the treatment of addiction in the US.
However, support for this form of treatment from controlled studies has not been
consistent. This article examines recent clinical trials of acupuncture for
addiction treatment, with a goal of conveying to the reader some of the complex
issues involved in conducting studies in this area. Acupuncture trials in
addictions frequently have been conducted without preliminary dose-ranging
studies to establish efficacious doses of the experimental treatment, use needle
insertion controls of unknown degrees of activity, and present no rationale for
the type or intensity of concurrently offered psychotherapy. At the present
time, it is premature to put forth recommendations for or against acupuncture
for the treatment of addiction based on evidence from extant studies.
Margolin A. Acupuncture for substance abuse. Current
psychiatry reports 5(5):333-9