Sometimes described as “the most excruciating pain known to humanity,” trigeminal neuralgia involves intense pain in the lower face and jaw. Sometimes the pain also includes the area around the nose and above the eye, too. What’s happening is the trigeminal nerve is irritated, and the person is experiencing an electric shock-like pain, typically on one side of their face. This nerve involves branches to the forehead, cheek and lower jaw. Obviously, this part of the body is extremely sensitive, and when a person experiences trigeminal neuralgia it’s a debilitating pain. Jokingly they might say, “Kill me now! Put me out of my misery!”
Trigeminal neuralgia is most common in people over 50. It’s more likely to happen to women, and the disorder does run in families. Those with hypertension or multiple sclerosis are at a greater risk of getting it. Medically, anticonvulsant drugs like Carbamazepine are typically the first treatment choice and surgery may or may not become an option. However, let us consider what’s happening with the trigeminal nerve. It’s irritated. The pain is usually at a point between a healthy artery or vein and the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain. Pressure is put on the nerve as it enters the brain and, thus, the nerve is misfiring.
Chiropractors do more than just fix low back pain. Chiropractors deal with people’s spines, their musculoskeletal systems, and their nerves. What if a person with trigeminal neuralgia were to visit an expert chiropractor like Dr. Barker regularly to see if hands-on treatment could relieve the irritation from the problem area? Indeed, that’s what some sufferers do! If you’re someone who wants to know more about this alternative option, please call New City Chiropractic at 863-940-3444.
The other option, which involves taking a drug or drugs, can lead to more problems down the road. Some side effects of Carbamazepine can include double vision, dizziness, drowsiness and nausea. Furthermore, its efficacy decreases over time! And if a person insists on surgery, they’re looking at either open cranial surgery or lesioning procedures, where the nerve is injured on purpose to stop the nerve from delivering pain to the face.
Thankfully, Trigeminal neuralgia is a rare condition. That said, should you or someone you know suspect it, do consult with body a medical doctor and Dr. Barker at New City Chiropractic.