One of the key factors most in TMD and the dental profession don’t fully realize and hugely miss in their understanding and application of low frequency TENS is that it produces an intermittent neuro-muscular stimulus every 1.5 seconds producing an “involuntary” mandibular movement. This is what they don’t understanding.
Every one gets distracted in the stimulus or “feelings”. Well, most of us are already feeling pretty miserable and confused as it is. Why is this significant? because it allows the clinician to recognize that there is a different myo-trajectory (a better isotonic closing jaw path) vs. the habitual jaw pathologic paining closing path that is key to TMD treatment and stability.
Since most clinicians don’t measure their patients jaw position, location, and or the involuntary movement of their patient’s mandible during TENSing and THINK that TENSing is suppose to “Relax” muscles…well, they only barely got to first base. Never did they reach second base or third base..to see another NM perspective…..so naturally they didn’t get a home run in TMD treatment as many in GNM see possible. Therefore, they say what they say with very little understanding and comprehension of the bigger picture as to why many GNM dentist use TENS inspite of what folks say.
Sure, your muscles may get sore, or you may get more headaches after just about anything you do, even you get sore jaws and headaches after chewing bubble gum with no TENS, or you get sore jaws and headaches after eating meat, or corn nuts…or opening your jaws wide, etc with no TENS…etc… Come on!
Without the appropriate use of ulf TENS there would not be any such things as NM dentistry (objective measurements…no awareness that there is an isotonic mandibular position, etc.) and or no such thing as an Optimized Bite with GNM doctors or no such thing as a myo-trajectory, etc. In fact, I wouldn’t even be able to begin finding a stable resolution for my complex TMD patients without ulf TENS.
If your muscles are tense and in spasm, or you are having a super bad TMD day, with entrapped discs, condyles posteriorized (up and back), LPs are flamming in pain behind your eye balls, with temporal, facial/masseter, occipital, SCM, corner of your jaw in pain that is not because of TENS, but because the muscles are straining to find a better position for you, but none of your doctors have found objectively that isotonic jaw position to support those crying out muscles that are killing you daily.
They do one part…use some splint, or grind on your teeth with some devices or tools, but most can’t seem to correlate the use of TENS to get happy muscles. Why? Because they don’t have no way to determine your jaw position in space (guessing, educated hunches, assumptions, etc. ) without training and understanding of measuring your mandibular position relative to your habitual CO bite position. They don’t use jaw tracking locating devices. So how would they know if TENS is effective or not? “Feelings”?
Getting the muscles calmed down requires:
1) relaxing muscles to a point with supportive occlusion/bite on the proper closing jaw path in 6 dimensions (that is measured) and
2) micro occlusally adjusting the bite to support the muscles so they stay calm and happy (that is measured) so they function in all movements (lateral, protrusive, restrusive, opening, closing, etc…that is measured) …because unfortunately they are all guessing and or don’t have a clue what they are looking at when using their methods of bite adjusting or even K7s with or without TENS, etc..many continue to perpetuate only what they learned from others….passing down their opinions, their limited experience although very broad in scope, but may not have the full package, skills and understanding….sure…of course with years of clinical experience…no doubt!!
What confusion and a sad state of affairs when folks are so confused including their care providers….and confusion is perpetuated night and day on these forum. What are we going to do about it?
– Clayton A. Chan, D.D.S. – Las Vegas, NV
Leaders in Gneuromuscular & Neuromuscular Dentistry