Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is described as one of the most severe pains known to man. It is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve that produces sudden, excruciating bouts of facial pain. This pain typically strikes where the nerves branch to the nose, lips, eyes, ears, scalp, forehead, upper and lower jaw, and even the tongue. TN most often affects only one side of the face, and, over time, the pain usually increases in severity and frequency. The pain is so intense that TN is often referred to as the “suicide disease.”
Renowned author and upper cervical advocate, Pastor James Tomasi knows the agony firsthand, having fought the pain of Trigeminal Neuralgia for 12 years. In his book, “What TIME Tuesday?”, Tomasi details his struggle with TN:
“…the pain started as a series of jolts that progressively became steady throbbing pain. Sometimes, it was like a drill going through the molars in my upper right jaw. Then, it would suddenly stop. Certain things would trigger the pain: a slight breeze, a touch with a toothbrush, soap on my cheek, opening my mouth, speaking, turning my head too fast, etc., and then the ‘Beast’ would return with a vengeance. Other times, I would awaken to the sensation of an electric drill driving electric bits into the back of my eyeball. It was so unbearable that I would scream out loud while I held the pillow over my face…”
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“By the grace of God, my wife heard about upper cervical care on the radio. Within 11 days of my first upper cervical correction – after three corrections, I had no pain!”
Medical Treatments For Trigeminal Neuralgia & Associated Facial Pain
The most common medical treatments for TN include either prescription medications or surgery. Some typical drugs used to treat this disorder are anti-seizure drugs, such as Tegretol or Neurontin. In the last several years, different drugs such as Trileptal, Topamax, Depakote and even anti-depressants are being utilized. However, over a period of time, the drugs’ effectiveness may diminish, or serious side effects may develop.
As a last resort, many TN patients consider surgery to end their suffering. According to the Mayo Clinic, the goal if most surgical procedures is to either damage or destroy the part of the trigeminal nerve that is the source of the pain. Because the success of these procedures depends on damaging the nerve, one obvious side effect is facial numbness. Some of the more common surgical procedures include:
- Radiofrequency Rhizotomy
- Glycerol Rhizotomy
- Balloon Compression
- Microvascular Decompression
- Gamma Knife
Unfortunately, a recent report revealed that medical treatment eventually fails for nearly 50% of patients with trigeminal neuralgia.
Upper Cervical Care & Trigeminal Neuralgia
Research has revealed that TN stems from irritation or damage to the trigeminal nerve and the central trigeminal system in the upper spinal cord and brain stem. Medical literature has shown that trauma to the head, neck, and upper back can injure the nerve pathways in the spinal cord and brain stem and possibly cause TN. The facial pain can begin immediately after the injury, or in some cases, takes months or years to develop.
A recently concluded pilot study, conducted at Life University’s Sid E. Williams Research Center, yielded impressive results with Trigeminal Neuralgia patients, the participants received Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care over the course if eight weeks. All the participants had major pain relief within the first four weeks and continued to improve gradually after that. Research director Dr. Roger Hinson suggests that when TN develops, it may be because an upper cervical misalignment has contributed to the hyperactive state of the nerve, thereby causing severe facial pain associated with TN.
Upper Cervical Health Care of Orange County
At Upper Cervical Health Care of Orange County, Dr. Jerome Ri, DC has the education, training, and experience to locate and correct injuries to the upper neck. By correcting these injuries, they reduce the irritation to the nerves in the brain stem and spinal cord that can trigger TN. An upper cervical chiropractic examination is necessary in each individual’s case to determine whether an upper cervical injury is present and whether benefit from upper cervical care can be achieved. This can be done by calling Upper Cervical Health Care at (714) 848-8122.
Most health insurance companies recognize the benefits of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care and include it among the services they cover.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia and you would like to seek the help of Dr. Ri, call the office today at (714) 848-8122 or Contact Us to request your no-cost consultation and exam.
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is described as one of the most severe pains known to man. It is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve that produces sudden, excruciating bouts of facial pain.
References & Case Studies
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