Effects of jaw muscle pain on jaw muscle activity and jaw movement in humans [ 2004 - 2006 ]

Also known as: Pain in the jaw muscles and effects on jaw muscles and jaw movements

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: Prof Greg Murray (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Iven Klineberg

Brief description Chronic facial muscle pain is a significant community health problem that is poorly understood. Current treatments are based on the idea that structural or stress-related factors result in increased jaw muscle activity which then generates pain that in turn leads to more muscle activity - the so-called Vicious Cycle Theory. Treatments therefore aim to break the cycle by focussing on reducing muscle activity and thereby alleviate the pain. There is currently, however, little scientific evidence for this Theory. Another theory has been recently proposed in the Pain Adaptation Model. This model says that changes in muscle activity and movement are protective against further pain rather than the cause of the pain. The evidence, however, for this model is limited and conflicting. The current lack of understanding of facial muscle pain limits advancement in its management. Our long-term goal is to improve the management of patients with facial pain. The present application aims to determine whether muscle pain alters jaw muscle activity and jaw movement. Our preliminary clinical data provide compelling evidence for the Pain Adaptation Model. We are confident of a better understanding of what goes wrong in the jaw muscles in chronic facial pain and this will have implications for muscle pains elsewhere in the body. The outcome may help to refute the Vicious Cycle Theory, and help shift the focus away from signs and symptoms associated with the jaw muscles, and re-direct the focus to the alleviation of pain as the primary management goal. The information obtained should also provide a solid basis on which treatments can be tested for optimal resolution of symptoms, and an evidence-based approach in the management of facial pain.

Funding Amount $AUD 337,770.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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