Temporomandibular disorder brings many clients to massage therapy. People with temporomandibular muscle-and-joint pain disorders who engage in catastrophizing, or worrying and fearing the worst, and those who suffer from depression, experience worse pain than patients who don’t engage in negative thinking.

“Although most cases of temporomandibular muscle and joint disorders (TMJD) are mild and self-limiting, about 10 percent of TMJD patients develop severe disorders associated with chronic pain and disability,” the researchers noted in an abstract published on www.pubmed.gov. “It has been suggested that depression and catastrophizing contributes to TMJD chronicity.”

In this study, 480 participants recruited from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area received examinations and completed the Graded Chronic Pain Scale at baseline and at 18-month follow-up, the abstract noted. “In a multivariable analysis including gender, age, and worst pain intensity, baseline catastrophizing and pain intensity at baseline were positively associated with characteristic of pain intensity at the 18th month … disability at the 18-month follow-up was positively related to catastrophizing and depression.”

The researchers noted, “results indicate that catastrophizing and depression contribute to the progression of chronic TMJD pain and disability, and therefore should be considered as important factors when evaluating and developing treatment plans for patients with TMJD.”

“The effect of catastrophizing and depression on chronic pain–a prospective cohort study of temporomandibular muscle and joint pain disorders” ran in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain,” published by by Elsevier.

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