Trigeminal Neuralgia and Acupuncture

acupuncture-trigeminal-neuralgiaTrigeminal neuralgia is a condition that affects the trigeminal nerve. The condition is also known as “tic douloreaux” due to the fact that facial muscle spasms often accompany the pain. This debilitating condition is one that often produces intense, periodic facial pain along one or more of the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. The pain the person who suffers from this condition is very painful and it can last anywhere from seconds to minutes. The pain from trigeminal neuralgia can often be activated by simple activities such as brushing of teeth, eating putting on makeup or washing the face. Stress, heat, wind, or cold may also intensify the condition. It is often common in women who are over 40. Trigeminal neuralgia may become debilitating due to the chronic pain and it can last for years.

The treatment for trigeminal neuralgia is often surgery or drug therapy treatment. To control the pain doctors may administer drugs; however these usually have significant side effects and risks. Surgical intervention is usually the last option available to provide relief.

Acupuncture and Trigmenial Neuralgia

If you suffer from neuralgia or facial pain, then acupuncture treatment should be considered.  The trigeminal nerve serves three areas of the face and it roughly corresponds to the forehead and eyebrow, the eye and cheek and upper jaw, and the lower jaw. Trigeminal neuralgia can be associated with structural problems inside the skull and doctors will often treat it with drugs or surgery. Acupuncture is an option for some people as there are few side effects compared to surgery and drugs.

Developed in China over 2500 years ago, acupuncture has been used for the treatment of painful medical conditions that affect the head and these would include trigeminal neuralgia. The theory of acupuncture is based on energy flowing through the body on specific pathways called meridians. When the pathways become blocked, pain often develops. Acupuncture often require others very fine needles been inserted into these points on the pathway to enable the smooth flow of energy. This will also result in pain relief. There are many acupuncture points in the face that will directly link to the three branches of the trigeminal nerve. In using acupuncture to treat trigeminal neuralgia, very fine needles are placed into the corresponding facial points as a way to unblock the energy. There are times that the needles will be stimulated with electricity as a way to strengthen the overall treatment.

Over time the pain associated with the condition will become more complex and difficult to treat. As a result of this acupuncture should be done as soon as the symptoms appear. Acupuncture is shown to be more effective when applied immediately after the appearance of the syndrome.

The Success of Trigeminal Neuralgia and Acupuncture

There is no research or studies done to show if acupuncture is able to successfully treat trigeminal neuralgia. Many people have claimed success in using acupuncture to treat their pain and some have said that they are pain free or the pain is not as harsh as it used to be before. On the other hand, there have been people who suffer from trigeminal neuralgia and have acupuncture done and experienced no change in their condition. The results may vary and acupuncture should not be seen as a definitive method for treatment of this painful condition. Alternative medicine does work, however it is good to get an opinion from a doctor.

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