There are rough estimates that close to 280,000 people in the U.S. have Trigeminal Neuralgia, according to a study completed in 2013. As a disease that remains difficult to diagnose, many studies claim to have a diagnosis number, but do affirm that they aren’t completely confident in the numbers.
Trigeminal Neuralgia, also called tic doulourex, is a chronic neurological pain syndrome that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, which is one of the most widely distributed and important nerves within the face and cranium. This specific nerve travels from the brain stem, in the lower portion of the brain, to relay sensory signals from the face. As the nerve travels from the brain-stem, it splits into three branches: the ophthalmic, which supplies sensation to your scalp and forehead; the maxillary, which delivers sensation to the jaw, top lip, upper gums and teeth; and the mandibular, which supplies sensation to your lower jaw, lip, gums, and teeth.
Trigeminal Neuralgia carries an infamous nickname due to the excruciating pain that is associated with it: the suicide disease. For centuries people have killed themselves, or thought about it, because of the pain that comes down through the afflicted nerve.
What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?
When one or more of the three paired branches of the trigeminal nerve are either damaged or irritated, that’s when the disease pops up. Factors include blood vessels pressing on the nerve as it exits the brain stem, demyelination of the nerve associated with Multiple Sclerosis, nerve entrapment, injury, or stroke. Also, upper cervical chiropractors have found that TN can be related to brain stem irritation resulting from upper cervical spinal injury.
Classic symptoms include extreme, sporadic shock-like burning facial pain that comes in waves, as well as constant aching, stabbing pains that happen randomly.
How Upper Cervical Chiropractic Treatment Can Help
Although this disease remains largely misunderstood by medical professionals today, it is agreed that upper cervical chiropractic support can have a huge effect on the pain experienced by patients. Using precise and non-invasive procedures, chiropractic treatments can assess posture, autonomic balance, and anatomy to help create and lasting correction in the alignment of the upper cervical spine – which can be closely associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia. Improving brain-to-body communication can help the patient by:
- Reducing tension: The less spinal cord tension, the less irritation that is felt by the trigeminal nucleus in the upper neck and brain steam
- Proper drainage: Venous and lymphatic fluids need to drain properly to eradicate blood vessel pressure on the trigeminal nerve
- Relaxed muscle: Calmed muscle tone reduces the pressure on the branches of the trigeminal nerve
- Fluid flow: Cerebrospinal fluid helps alleviate pressure on the brain stem
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Support
Through proper chiropractic support and attention, the causes of the Trigeminal Neuralgia can be assessed and remediated in many cases. As a non-invasive approach, upper cervical chiropractic corrections are the best possible option for healing and recovery of your body. Instead of enduring the mind-numbing pain day-in and day-out, consider going to an upper cervical chiropractor