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Volume 18 , Issue 3
Summer 2004

Pages 214219

Comparison of Algometry and Palpation in the Recognition of Temporomandibular Disorder Pain Complaints

Corine M. Visscher, PT, PhDFrank Lobbezoo, DDS, PhD/Machiel Naeije, PhD

PMID: 15509000

Aims: To determine the construct validity of algometry and to compare it with that of palpation, and to compare tenderness of masticatory muscle sites and the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on palpation and on algometry. Methods: Two hundred fifty subjects, 148 with temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain complaints, underwent a standardized blinded physical examination that included pain-intensity measures on palpation and pressure pain threshold measures on algometry of masseter muscle sites, temporalis muscle sites, and the TMJ. Results: Logistic regression analysis indicated that the recognition of TMD pain complaints based on pressure algometry was comparable to that of palpation (R2 = 0.22 and R2 = 0.21, respectively). The masseter muscles were most tender to palpation and algometry, followed by the TMJs and the temporalis muscles. Conclusion: Construct validity of algometry in the recognition of TMD pain complaints is comparable to that of palpation, and differences in tenderness on palpation and on algometry are found between masticatory muscle sites and the TMJ. J OROFAC PAIN 2004;18:214219

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