Nerves carry messages from your face to your brain to provide you with sensation and feeling. Chronic facial pain from trigeminal neuralgia occurs when these nerves are interrupted and send false signals of pain to the brain. Even the most mild form of stimulation, like from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup, might trigger a sharp jolt of severe face pain.
Some patients only experience short and mild attacks at first. However, trigeminal neuralgia may progress and begin to cause more frequent bouts of searing pain that last longer. The painful attacks can manifest as a sudden burning, shock-like pain or dull, aching sensation; the specifics will vary from patient to patient.
This pain occurs due to the misfired nerves, despite nothing actually being wrong with the face or skin. Usually, the pain is limited to one side of the face, but both sides of the face may be impacted differently at different times or, very rarely, at the same time.
Typically, trigeminal neuralgia affects adults over 50, though it can even occur even in infants, and is more likely to occur in women than men. Trigeminal neuralgia is considered one of the most painful medical conditions.
There are a variety of treatment options available to help manage the pain and reduce the symptoms. Your healthcare provider may suggest medications, injections, surgery, or more natural methods, like upper cervical chiropractic care, to help with your trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that affects one of the largest nerves in the head and typically produces symptoms of:
Typically, trigeminal neuralgia is caused by a blood vessel affecting the nerve near the brain stem. Pressure can be applied to the nerve when the blood vessels change and begin rubbing against the nerve root. This rubbing, which occurs with each heartbeat, wears away the membrane insulating the nerve and results in irritation. This pressure causes your nerve to malfunction.
Trigeminal neuralgia may occur from aging or from multiple sclerosis in younger people. Though rare, it could also be caused by a tumor putting pressure on the trigeminal nerve.
Sometimes a cause simply can’t be found. Trigeminal neuralgia has also occurred in patients with brain lesions, additional nervous disorders, or other abnormalities damaging the myelin sheath of the trigeminal nerve.
Your doctor will likely use an MRI to determine if a tumor or multiple sclerosis is causing the pain and irritating your trigeminal nerve. Testing can be done to help rule out other facial disorders.
Upper cervical chiropractic care can help relieve pressure to the trigeminal nerve (CN V) by ensuring the vertebrae surrounding the brain stem are correctly aligned. The trigeminal nerve (CN V) is involved in function and sensation in the jaw and mouth area. This nerve goes directly through the inferior brainstem, which is surrounded by the atlas and axis bones. Because of this, it is extremely important to make sure there is no misalignment there. Contact our office today if you suffer from trigeminal neuralgia to see how upper cervical care can help you.