Reference: The Journal of the American Dental Association (October 1, 2013) 144, 1154-1163
In the current issue of the JADA, there is an article in the Research Section of the magazine entitled A Pilot Study of a Chiropractic Intervention for Management of Chronic Myofascial Temporomandibular Disorder. (The full article requires ADA membership or registration/payment.)
Having such research in a frequently read (and cited) journal like the JADA is problematic in many ways. Time and my attention span will not permit me to go into great depth into those issues, but I do want to present an outline of the article, how (while no doubt well-intentioned) bad science was constructed atop a foundation of worse science, why the JADA had no business publishing such nonsense, how our body of scientific knowledge was not advanced one iota by this piece, and why the American Dental Association sullies the concept of science based inquiry when it associates with pseudo- and pre-scientific woo.
This research, supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), was authored by four Chiropractors, a PhD (all but one of whom are associated with the Palmer College of Chiropractic), two dentists, and an RN (the latter three associated with the University of Iowa College of Dentistry). Their stated goal was to “assess the feasibility of conducting a full-scale RCT to evaluate the effectiveness of AMCT (Activator Method Chiropractic Technique) for the treatment of patients with chronic myofascial TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder).” (Note: RCT = Randomized Controlled Trial) Their rationale was that since many TMDs “can become a chronic problem lasting several years, and patients receive little help from traditional forms of treatment”, perhaps complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies should be considered.