Evidence-Based Dentistry (2000) 2, 69; doi:10.1038/sj.ebd.6400041

Efficacy of electromyographic treatment is supported for temporomandibular disorders

Lars Dahlström1

1Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Mölndal, Sweden

Crider AB, Glaros AG. A meta-analysis of EMG biofeedback treatment of temporomandibular disorders. J Orofacial Pain 1999; 13:29–37

Address for reprints: Dr Alan G Glaros, 650 East 25th Street, Kansas City MI 64108, USA. Fax: +1 816 235 2157. E-mail:



Objective To determine the efficacy of electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback-based treatments and to estimate the size of treatment effect.

Data sources Medline (1966–1995), Psychlit (1990–1997), review articles and the authors' files.

Study selection Thirteen studies were identified, six of which were controlled trials, four were comparative trials and three were uncontrolled trials.

Results Data from 12 studies contributed to a meta-analysis that compared the size of pre- and post-treatment effect for EMG biofeedback with the size of effect for control conditions. Mean effect sizes for both reported pain and clinical examination outcomes were substantially larger for biofeedback treatments than for control conditions. In addition, 69% of patients who received EMG biofeedback treatments were rated as symptom-free or significantly improved, compared with only 35% of patients who were treated with a variety of placebo interventions only.

Conclusion Although limited in extent, the available data support the efficacy of EMG biofeedback treatments for temporomandibular disorders (TMD).