Trigeminal neuralgia isn’t a common phrase that you would hear from anyone. And yet, it’s one of the leading causes of discomfort among older people. So, what is trigeminal neuralgia? How intense can trigeminal neural pain get? More importantly, can a trigeminal neuralgia chiropractor help? Let’s explore a bit more about the leading cause of facial pain below.
Understanding Trigeminal Neuralgia
Have you ever wondered how your face can feel the touch of a loved one or how your mouth can move up and down when speaking or chewing food? The answer lies in the trigeminal nerve, a group of nerve fibers that innervates or allows your face and jaws to feel and move.
Unfortunately, when the trigeminal nerve gets damaged, compressed, or pinched, it can stop functioning properly. When this happens, you might experience pain or difficulty moving the facial and jaw muscles and joints.
Medically, we refer to this problem as trigeminal neuralgia. It’s a pain disorder commonly found in people in their late 50s. Studies note that it’s pretty uncommon in younger folks, with only a 1 percent prevalence rate among individuals in their 20s to 30s.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms and Diagnosis
Doctors classify trigeminal neuralgia into two, namely, classical and symptomatic. If you have the classical type, your episodes don’t have an evident or apparent trigger. On the one hand, if you have symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia, it means that your pain stems from an underlying cause like Lyme’s disease, tumor, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, or aneurysm.
Diagnosis often comes tricky because it has similar symptoms to common dental problems. Some of the key signs of this disorder include the following:
- Episodes of sharp, stabbing, or searing pain on the face, jaw, gums, or even the teeth
- Pain only gets triggered when you move your jaw or face (chewing, biting, talking, applying make-up)
- Mental health problems that get triggered because of the constant pain you experience
- Increasing pain focused on a specific part of your face or jaw
If you suspect having trigeminal neuralgia pain, you can consult with a neurologist or your primary doctor. You might have to undergo tests like MRI scans or neurological examinations to get an accurate diagnosis. Once you get a diagnosis, you can also talk to a trigeminal neuralgia chiropractor to understand what options you can use for relief.
How Does Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain Feel?
When you have trigeminal neuralgia, every movement or sensation on your face gets amplified and turns into a painful or irritating feeling. Even the slightest movement like drinking water or brushing powder on your cheeks can cause excruciating waves of pain that can last for several hours.
Besides the discomfort, trigeminal neuralgia can also cause mental health issues as you anxiously wait for another episode to occur. Many doctors explain that the fear that stems from this disorder is worse than the pain itself.
Without having a coping mechanism or a remedy, trigeminal neuralgia can prevent you from enjoying simple joys in life like eating at your favorite restaurant or talking to someone. Furthermore, it can completely alter your routine and deteriorate various aspects of your life, like socializing and working on your tasks.
Coping with Trigeminal Neuralgia
Indeed, living with constant pain because of an irritated, compressed, or damaged trigeminal nerve can come with several challenges. Thankfully, you can choose from plenty of remedies for trigeminal neuralgia pain. A few examples include:
Taking pain relievers is perhaps the usual approach of people who deal with trigeminal pain. Doctors mostly prescribe medication that blocks pain signals from the brain to provide the body with relief from the disorder. Typically, this approach delivers quick and short-term relief. It’s practical, especially when you have to work on urgent tasks or chores.
Trigeminal neuralgia can stem from abnormal contact between blood vessels and the trigeminal nerve. Some blood vessels press on the nerve, causing it to get pinched or irritated. In such cases, doctors suggest relocating or removing the blood vessels to reduce the pain or nerve malfunction. Others recommend less invasive surgical procedures like the gamma knife or brain stereotactic radiosurgery.
Balloon compression comprises the insertion of a catheter device equipped with a balloon. Once successfully inserted near the trigeminal nerve, the doctor inflates the balloon to reduce the pressure on the nerves and block signal transmissions.
Upper cervical care
If you’re looking for a natural and non-invasive procedure to cope with trigeminal neuralgia, you might find it helpful to try upper cervical care. Essentially, it involves getting upper cervical adjustments from a trigeminal neuralgia chiropractor. This approach aims to address neck misalignments that may be contributing to or causing the compression or pinching of your trigeminal nerve.
Get Help from a Trigeminal Neuralgia Chiropractor Today!
Upper cervical care is one of the most popular approaches to holistic and natural healing for people diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. If you have been suffering from this disorder for a long time, you might want to try getting chiropractic adjustments. It’s also quite helpful if you had a previous neck or head injury, as it may have contributed to the onset of your trigeminal neuralgia pain.
Upper cervical chiropractic is a very gentle procedure that stimulates your body’s natural ability to recover and heal from injuries. Consult with a trigeminal neuralgia chiropractor near you today!