I always look forward to receiving the Journal of Craniomandibular Practice every quarter. The Guest Editorial of the July issue was Brendon Stack D.D.S., M.S. Needless to say, I was more interested in his editorial comments, than the excellent information in this issue that was devoted to the ear. Dr. Stack outlined his “journey” of treating patients “from orthodontics to craniofacial pain and then to movement disorders.” He reflects on how his underlying treatment philosophy evolved into the fact that many, but not all, of the movement disorder patients had underlying internal derangement of the cranium which results in abnormal maxillomandibular relationships. He recalls how for over a century, Tourette’s syndrome was considered a psychological disorder, a neurological brain disorder and then an infectious disease caused by streptococcus. It was never considered a disorder that was due to a structural abnormality, which then could manifest itself as a neurological problem. Dr. Stack pointed out that today Tourette’s is considered a “structural – reflex disorder” that responds well to the use of intraoral orthotics that require no medicine or surgery.
As the result of the success in his treatment of Tourette’s, he applied the same principles to the treatment of Parkinson’s, cervical torticollis, and other types of “movement disorders.” He feels that the “motor component” of the movement disorder is the key to his 47 year journey of treating cranio-related pain through “repositioning”, “decompression” and reprogramming to “eliminate noxious input through the fifth cranial nerve into the central nervous system.” After 32 years of practice, I believe in this approach and belong to a similar patterned journey. I just hope that in the next 15 years, I don’t change my “ position” behavior, so that I too, can reflect on my 47 years and report that my journey was “ filled with learning and personal satisfaction of having made a difference in the lives of my patients.”