Karen Decker, PT

Assistant Education Specialist, Department of Diagnostic and Biological Sciences

Karen Decker

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-625-2139


Licensure, State of Minnesota physical therapy license, #900

Ms Decker has provided clinical physical therapy interventions in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders within the School of Dentistry since 1991. Ms Decker also serves as adjunct faculty in the Program of Physical Therapy providing instruction in the anatomy, pathophysiology and treatment interventions for TMD. She is a APTA certified clinical instructor for the Program in Physical Therapy and provides clinical opportunities to physical therapy students in training. Among her other interests is instructing dental professionals in neck and back care. She looks forward to completing her Masters of Science degree in Clinical Research in the near future.


Research Summary/Interests

Iontophoresis treatment for joint and muscle pain; Therapeutic interventions for TMD; Role of postural interventions for headache pain

Research Funding Grants

  • Effect of Iontophoretic Delivery of Dexamethasone on TMJ Capsular Pain (Eric Schiffman DDS, MS), Iomed, Inc., Physical therapy intervention, 1991
  • Craniomandibular Disorders: Long-term Outcome Study (Eric Schiffman DDS, MS), NIH/NIDCR, Physical therapy treatments, 1992-98
  • A Double Blind Study of the Effects of Iotophoresis Versus a Control (Mary Karkow DDS, Eric Schiffman DDS, MS), EPMI, Inc., Physical therapy intervention, 1994-95
  • Research Diagnostic Criteria: Reliability and Validity (Eric Schiffman DDS, MS), NIH/NIDCR, Consultant, 2003
  • Assessment of the Effectiveness of Rocabado's 6x6 Exercises for the Treatment of Patients with Masticatory Myofascial Pain and Forward Head Posture (Mariona Mulet, DDS), American Academy of Orofacial Pin, Physical therapy treatments, 2004


  • Decker, K., Bromaghim, C., Fricton, J. Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Disorders and Oral Facial Pain, APRT, Raven Press, NY. 1995; 465-485.
  • Decker, K., Bromaghim, C., Utilizing Physical Therapy in the Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders, Clarks Clinical Dentistry. Lippincott, 1994. vol. 2, chapter 41.
  • Occlusion, Orofacial Pain and Headaches. Editor: Francisco Guedes P. Alencar Chapter 18. Physical Therapy for Temporomandibular Disorders with Connie Bromaghim PT Livraria Santos Editora Ltda, Brazil, 2005, pp221-236.


Academic Interests and Focus

Physical therapy treatment for temporomandibular disorders; Body mechanics for the dental professional