The effect of manual therapy on masseter muscle pain and spasm
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Introduction: Orofacial pain and pain in the muscles of mastication are frequent symptoms of temporomandibular disorder. The masseter is the closet masticatory muscle to the surface and has the function of raising and retracting the mandible. This muscle has considerable strength and is one of the main muscles involved in the shredding of food It is therefore of utmost importance in the masticatory cycle and generally the most affected by pain and spasms. Objectives: The aim of the present study was to analyze the effect of manual therapy with transversal and circular movements on pain and spasm in the masseter muscle, using electromyography and a visual analogue pain scale (VAPS). Eight women who experienced pain upon palpation of the masseter greater than 6 on the VAPS were selected for participation in the study, which employed electromyography and a VAPS for assessment, followed by manual oral physiotherapy and reevaluation. Results: The statistical analysis revealed a reduction in pain, but there was no significant difference in electromyographic activity (p < 0.05). Conclusion: It was concluded that massage therapy was effective on pain symptoms, but was not capable of altering the electrical activity of the masseter muscle.