Get access

Adjustment of dental occlusion in treatment of chronic cervicobrachial pain and headache


Dr K. Karppinen, Central Military Hospital, Box 50, FIN-00301 Helsinki, Finland.


The hypothesis that the response to conventional physical therapy of patients suffering from chronic cervicobrachial pain and/or headache can be improved by adjusting dental occlusion, was tested. Forty patients seeking treatment were interviewed and examined prior to treatment, and 6 weeks, 12 months and 60 months after treatment. All patients underwent routine physical therapies. They were pairwise matched for age, gender and type of dental occlusion, and randomly allocated to a true occlusal adjustment group or to a mock adjustment group. The patients and the examiners were unaware of the type of dental treatment given. The outcome variables included subjective pain and discomfort, cervical spine mobility and pain on movement, and comparison of relative EMG activities. The short-term response to therapy was good in both groups. In the long-term, however, the response was significantly better in the patients who had undergone occlusal adjustment than in the mock-adjusted controls.

Get access to the full text of this article