Authorized distributor in The United States

Revolutionizing TMJ / TMD Treatments With Radial Shockwave Therapy

Exploring TMJ Treatment with Shockwave Therapy


Introduction to Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders


Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) encompass a variety of conditions affecting the jaw joint and the muscles controlling jaw movement. These disorders often cause significant pain and functional limitations, impacting daily activities such as chewing, speaking, and yawning. For many patients, TMD can lead to chronic pain, headaches, earaches, and difficulty in opening and closing the mouth. The constant discomfort and restricted jaw movement can severely affect the quality of life, making it challenging to eat a balanced diet, engage in social interactions, and perform tasks that require clear communication. Furthermore, the pain and dysfunction associated with TMD can contribute to psychological stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances, creating a cycle of pain and emotional distress that exacerbates the condition. Understanding and managing TMD effectively is crucial for improving patients’ overall well-being and daily functioning.

Current Treatments for TMJ Disorders

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are a common musculoskeletal condition that affects many people. Symptoms often develop gradually in patients with severe TMD or orofacial issues, with common signs including jaw clicking and tightness in the jaw, head, or neck muscles. Effective management focuses on alleviating pain, reducing pressure on the jaw joints, restoring jaw functionality, and enabling normal daily activities.

Treatment options for TMD are diverse and include:

  • Anti-inflammatory Medications: Oral nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Orthodontic Interventions: Braces or other orthodontic treatments can help align teeth and jaw to alleviate TMD symptoms.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Biofeedback and stress reduction strategies can help manage the psychological aspects contributing to TMD.
  • Electrotherapy: This involves the use of electrical currents to relieve pain and improve muscle function.
  • Physical Therapy: Tailored exercises and manual therapies to strengthen and relax jaw muscles.
  • Occlusal Splints: Custom-made mouth guards worn at night to prevent teeth grinding and clenching.
  • Oxygen-Ozone Therapy: A treatment that uses ozone to promote healing and reduce pain.
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT): Uses shock waves to promote healing and pain relief in affected tissues.

Radial ESWT for TMD


A recent study by Nicola Marotta, Martina Ferrillo, Andrea Demeco, and colleagues, published in Applied Sciences, titled “Effects of Radial Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy in Reducing Pain in Patients with Temporomandibular Disorders: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial,” investigates the combined approach of physical therapy with or without radial ESWT for adults diagnosed with myofascial pain and TMD. The study explores and assesses the safety and efficacy of these treatment regimens.

The randomized controlled trial aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of radial ESWT combined with physical therapy in reducing pain and improving muscle function in patients with TMD. Conducted by Nicola Marotta and colleagues, the study was designed to determine whether adding ESWT to a standard physical therapy regimen could enhance treatment outcomes for TMD patients.


The study involved 15 adult patients diagnosed with myofascial pain associated with TMD. These patients were randomly assigned to two groups:

  1. Group A received physical therapy combined with Shockwave Therapy.
  2. Group B received physical therapy with a sham (inactive) Shockwave Therapy.

Each group underwent treatment sessions once a week for four weeks. The primary outcome measured was pain intensity, assessed using a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). Secondary outcomes included muscle activity and function, evaluated through surface electromyography (sEMG) of the anterior temporalis and masseter muscles.

Key Findings

Group 1: Control Group


  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Shockwave Therapy: None
  • Frequency: Once per week for 4 weeks


  • This group serves as the baseline to compare the effects of shockwave therapy.
  • Any changes or improvements in this group can be attributed to the standard treatment or natural recovery.

Group 2: Radial Shockwave Therapy Group


  • Duration: 20 minutes total session time
  • Shockwave Therapy:
    • Duration: 3 minutes of the session
    • Pulses: 2000 pulses
    • Energy Density Flux: 1.8 bars
    • Frequency: 18 Hz
  • Frequency: Once per week for 4 weeks


  • This group receives radial shockwave therapy as part of their treatment.
  • The effectiveness of the shockwave therapy can be evaluated by comparing the results with the control group.
  • Expected improvements might include reduced pain, increased mobility, and faster recovery, depending on the condition being treated.

The study yielded several notable findings:

  • Pain Reduction: Group A, which received ESWT, showed a significant reduction in pain compared to the control group (Group B). This reduction was evident immediately after the treatment period and persisted during follow-up evaluations.
  • Muscle Function Improvement: Patients in the rESWT group demonstrated significant improvements in muscle function, as evidenced by better sEMG results. The Percentage of Overlapping Coefficient (POC) between muscle pairs indicated enhanced symmetry and balance in muscle activity.

Discussion and Implications

The results suggest that Radial Shockwave, when combined with physical therapy, can effectively reduce pain and improve muscle function in patients with myofascial pain-related TMD. The observed improvements in pain and muscle activity support the potential of rESWT as a valuable addition to the standard TMD treatment protocols.

While the study provides promising preliminary data, further research with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up periods is needed to confirm these findings. The integration of rESWT into clinical practice for TMD management could offer a non-invasive, effective treatment option for patients suffering from this debilitating condition.


The combination of radial ESWT and physical therapy appears to be a safe and effective approach to managing pain and improving muscle function in TMD patients. This innovative therapy could enhance the quality of life for individuals affected by TMD, providing a new avenue for treatment in the field of musculoskeletal disorders.


Stay Updated with the Latest in Shockwave Therapy at Vale Medical 

Vale Medical is proud to be the USA’s preferred authorized Storz Medical dealer, dedicated to serving medical professionals nationwide. Whether you’re new to shockwave therapy, looking to upgrade your current radial device, or interested in learning more about focused shockwave therapy, we are here to help. Contact us anytime, and we will find the solution that best fits your needs.

Leave a Comment