TMJ/ Myofacial Pain
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What to Call This Problem?
Currently, the health care and research community call this disease/disorder TMD. The press and public are familiar with this disease/disorder under the name "TMJ". Depending who is discussing this disease; it can be called any number of names. In fact, the confusion regarding what to call this is not just a reflection of the chaos in the field but also a contributing factor. A majority of patient advocates, have chosen to use "TMJ" as the abbreviation for these temporomandibular diseases/disorders. This is what the patients and public relate to.

Depending upon the view and perspective of the treating professional the following is a list of names that would identify and characterize this controversial disorder.

  • "TMJ"
  • Cranio-mandibular dysfunction (CMD)
  • Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction (TMD)
  • Myofacial pain
  • Cranio-facial dysfunction (CFD)
  • Musculoskeletal Dysfunction (MSD)
A More Clinical Term for TMJ
I prefer to characterize and identify "TMJ" as: "Musculoskeletal Dysfunction (MSD) of the Head and Neck Resulting in Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction".

This is more characteristic of the more complex cases I see clinically, since muscular pain, imbalances and dysfunctions are exhibited in almost all cases.

A More Academic Term for TMJ
When contending with institutions, I will use the term "Cranio-mandibular/ neurovasomuscular/ cervical dysfunction" which again is more encompassing of all the various components of the human body that are effected by this elusive disorder.

The term cranio-mandibular relates to the skull and lower jaw relationship. The nerves, the vascular blood supply, that are also needed to supply the muscles of the head, neck, and face must be considered in its entirety, since neither work independent of the other. Last but not lease is the cervical or neck region that supports the cranium and jaw complex.

As one begins to understand the human body, one will then realize it's complexity as well as its fine order. The various components of the TM Joints, the muscles of the head and neck as well as the hard structures (the teeth) all desires to function harmoniously (non-antigonistically) with one another, thus functioning together as one entity. Understanding TMD is based on the proper knowledge of the functioning members of the body which include the muscles, discs, bones, vasculatures, nerves, teeth and ligaments as well as the psychological component. . . All rights reserved.