The current literature acknowledges the proximity and relatedness of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) to the cervical spine. Dysfunction in both of these structures can therefore be a source of pain and headaches.
Manual therapy – including joint mobilisations and soft tissue techniques – is often used to treat temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) and to support pain relief. Due to the anatomical location of the TMJ, manual therapy to either cervical spine or the jaw is sometimes used to treat pain associated to TMDs.
Nevertheless, very few studies have compared cervico-craniomandibular manual therapy versus just cerical manual therapy to establish the therapeutic effect on pain in patients with TMD. The current systematic assessed the few known studies which have addressed this, and investigated the effectiveness of both therapies in reducing pain levels in those with TMDs.