Reduction of TMD pain by high-frequency vibration: a spatial and temporal analysis.


Journal Article

Under some conditions, vibration delivered to the skin can reduce pain (vibratory analgesia). Previous studies of this phenomenon in a clinical context have been somewhat variable in terms of stimulus control, and have not examined the way in which the spatial distribution of pain is affected. In the present study, we used rigorously controlled conditions to examine vibratory analgesia in participants (N=17) with painful temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Results of 20- and 100-Hz vibration were compared with data from a no-vibration control condition. The results document for the first time that vibratory analgesia occurs in TMD chronic pain conditions. We measured its time course using continuous visual analog scale (VAS) recording, and its spatial aspects by asking subjects to indicate painful regions on standardized drawings. VAS ratings and drawings both showed that pain is reduced by 100-Hz, but not by 20-Hz, vibration. The effectiveness of the high-frequency vibration cannot be attributed to a mechanism involving Pacinian corpuscles, since these receptors are lacking in the skin of the orofacial region. Spatial analyses revealed that ipsilateral and contralateral effects of vibration were statistically equivalent, suggesting that vibratory analgesia relies at least in part on central nervous system processes rather than local mechanisms.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Roy, EA; Hollins, M; Maixner, W

Published Date

  • February 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 267 - 274

PubMed ID

  • 12583869

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12583869

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0304-3959

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0304-3959(02)00332-9


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States