TMJ/ Myofacial Pain
DIAGNOSTICS: The Key to Success
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
A More Clinical Term for
- Cranio-mandibular dysfunction (CMD)
- Temporomandibular Joint dysfunction (TMD)
- Myofacial pain
- Cranio-facial dysfunction (CFD)
- Musculoskeletal Dysfunction (MSD)
I prefer to characterize and identify "TMJ" as: "Musculoskeletal
Dysfunction (MSD) of the Head and Neck Resulting in Temporomandibular Joint
This is more characteristic of the more complex cases I see clinically,
since muscular pain, imbalances and dysfunctions are exhibited in almost all
A More Academic Term for
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