If you feel severe pain when you brush your teeth or simply put a smile on your face, trigeminal neuralgia may be the culprit. Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most painful disorders that can affect anyone. It is a chronic pain disease that effects the trigeminal nerve, the nerve responsible for sensation in the face.
Even a minor stimulation of the nerve can trigger bouts of intense pain. Many refer to it as “invisible pain.” Although rare, it causes pain like no other, prompting many patients to seek out help from a specialized approach that some would call a trigeminal neuralgia chiropractic adjustment. About 15,000 cases of the condition are reported each year. Women get it two times more than men.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Types and Symptoms
How would you know if you have the disorder? In general, trigeminal neuralgia has these common characteristics:
- Pain affecting one side of the face (often on the right side)
- Severe and stabbing pain
- Moving or grimacing head during aching episodes
- An attack that lasts less than 20 seconds
Each patient may have a varying number of episodes every day, often between one episode to hundreds each day. Moreover, two types of trigeminal neuralgia exist– Typical and Atypical. Patients may suffer from one or both types of the disorder.
Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN1)
- Extreme, abrupt pain
- Shock-like or burning pain
- Episodes last a few seconds to a few minutes
- Attacks can strike with one right after the other, with a full “episode” lasting up to 2 hours
Atypical Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN2)
- Constant pain
- Burning or aching pain
- Less severe pain than Typical Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN1)
What is the Main Cause of Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Almost all cases of trigeminal neuralgia (about 95%) stem from irritation or compression of the trigeminal nerve near to where it reaches the brainstem, the bottommost area of the brain that connects with the spinal cord.
Often, this condition happens when a vein or artery compresses the trigeminal nerve. Since the nerve has its sensitive point, the blood vessels that meet the nerve may add extra pressure to it. However, not all people with a compressed trigeminal nerve experience pain. This makes the origin of pain in other people with trigeminal neuralgia unclear.
Trigeminal neuralgia may also be due to some health disorders or problems, including:
- Facial injury
- A tumor
- A cyst
- Damage due to surgery such as dental surgery
- Arteriovenous malformation – an abnormal tangle of arteries and veins
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Trigeminal Neuralgia Triggers
People who have trigeminal neuralgia should be cautious when they make these movements as any of these may trigger an attack:
- Brushing teeth
- Washing your face
- Putting on makeup
- Sleeping on the affected side of the face
As you can see, these tasks are almost unavoidable since we do them each day, especially chewing and brushing the teeth. As a result, attacks of trigeminal neuralgia are very challenging to avoid or minimize. Many patients have found relief from a specialized type of care that they call a trigeminal neuralgia chiropractic adjustment to relieve the pain.
How Is the Neck Related to Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Understanding fully the function of the neck, particularly its topmost bone, can help explain why trigeminal neuralgia patients experience pain. The spine serves as a protector of the spinal cord. Meanwhile, the spinal cord acts as the mediator between the brain and body.
If misalignment exists in the uppermost vertebra of the neck, known as the atlas, the spinal cord may suffer from undue stress. As a result, proper communication between the brain and body may fail, and the brain begins to receive wrong signals. The brain may decode pain signals, causing trigeminal pain. Another possibility is that the incorrect signals result in the misfiring of the trigeminal nerve. This causes the onset of trigeminal neuralgia symptoms.
NUCCA Chiropractic and Trigeminal Neuralgia
The often-used care to manage symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia is medication. Some people choose invasive alternatives such as Botox and glycerol injections and surgery. However, many patients are still looking for a natural solution that has lasting results. Are you looking for excellent care that addresses trigeminal neuralgia at its root?
NUCCA chiropractic is a specific chiropractic technique that realigns the atlas using low force corrections. Many patients referred to the NUCCA procedure as their trigeminal neuralgia chiropractic adjustment. Through the adjustments, the spinal cord can get rid of the stress, resulting in proper messages reaching the brain. This may be the resolution to the misfiring of the trigeminal nerve.
NUCCA doctors have comprehensive training to detect and correct atlas misalignment. They use an effective and very gentle method to take care of the atlas bone. Once the bone moves back to its position, healing will take place. This can result in the reduction (and possibly elimination) of symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia.
For example, a case study observed a 62-year-old woman who complained of chronic right-sided facial pain for two years. The patient later received a trigeminal neuralgia diagnosis from her medical doctor. She found a NUCCA practitioner and started getting upper cervical-specific chiropractic care using the NUCCA technique. After six months of care by a NUCCA chiropractor, her trigeminal neuralgia attacks lessened significantly and then stopped completely.
If you would like to learn more information on how NUCCA chiropractic may help your trigeminal neuralgia, consult with a NUCCA doctor in your area.