Published in

MDPI, Journal of Personalized Medicine, 11(11), p. 1170, 2021

DOI: 10.3390/jpm11111170



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Effects of Therapeutic and Aerobic Exercise Programs on Pain, Neuromuscular Activation, and Bite Force in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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Pain in masticatory muscles is one of the most frequent symptoms in patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and can lead to changes in the patterns of neuromuscular activity of masticatory muscles and decrease in bite force. This study assesses the effects of three eight-week exercise programs on pain intensity, neuromuscular activation, and bite force of masticatory muscles in patients with TMD. Forty-five patients were divided into three groups: a therapeutic exercise program (G1), a therapeutic and aerobic exercise program (G2), and an aerobic exercise program (G3). The masticatory muscles’ pain was evaluated using the numeric pain rating scale (NPRS), surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity of the masseter was recorded during maximum voluntary contraction and at rest, and bite force was evaluated using a dynamometer. These parameters were evaluated twice at baseline (A01/A02), at the end of the eight-week intervention period (A1), and 8–12 weeks after the end of the intervention (A2). After intervention, G2 showed the best results, with a significantly decrease in masticatory muscles’ pain and increase in bite force. These results suggest that interventions to reduce pain in patients with TMD should be multimodal.