Article Review "Exercise intervention for the treatment of trismus in head and neck cancer – a prospective two-year follow-up study" (2016)

Posted by Sarah Schuman, MS, CCC-SLP on 1/29/2018 to Head & Neck Cancer, Radiation Therapy
Article Review
Trismusis one of the most persistent oral health problems that head and neck cancer (HNC) patients experience following radiotherapy. The study “Exercise intervention for the treatment of trismus in head and neck cancer – a prospective two-year follow-up study” examined the long-term effects of structured trismus intervention in this population. The study investigated how 10 weeks of structured exercise with a jaw mobilizing device impacted mouth opening, trismus-related symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQL).

Subjects
  • 50 HNC patient divided into control and intervention groups.
  • Patients completed radiotherapy 3-6 months prior to study onset.
  • Intervention group engaged in structured exercise intervention with a TheraBite or Engstrom device. Exercise included passive and active movements of the jaw.
  • Control group received no structured exercise intervention.
Assessment
  • Maximum interincisal opening and patient-reported (PRO)-instruments
    • Assessed before and after exercise interventions.
    • Assessed at 2- year follow-up.

Findings

  • Statistically significant
  • 2-year follow-up: The intervention group achieved higher maximum interincisal opening (MIO)
    • (40.5mm vs. 34.3 mm).
    • The intervention group reported less trismus related symptoms and a better global HRQL.
Conclusion

This study demonstrated that jaw mobilizing devices are efficient intervention for trismus with significant positive outcomes that persist over time.

Craniorehab offers jaw motion rehab devices including the OraStretch press that provide stretching and passive motion of the jaw.

For the complete study, click on this link: https://doi.org/10.3109/0284186X.2015.1133928

Nina Pauli, Ulrika Svensson, Therese Karlsson & Caterina Finizia (2016) Exercise intervention for the treatment of trismus in head and neck cancer – a prospective two-year follow-up study, Acta Oncologica, 55:6, 686-692, DOI: 10.3109/0284186X.2015.1133928


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