Trigeminal Neuralgia and Chiropractic Care: A Case Report

Trigeminal Neuralgia and Chiropractic Care: A Case Report.

The paper above is a case report of a chiropractor who treated a patient who suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) for 7 and ½ years. She treated off and on with the chiropractor for 18 months and while under chiropractic care, reported a decrease in overall symptoms and at times a near resolution of symptoms while she was following the Chiropractors treatment protocol. This patient was a 68 year old female and had reported to the Chiropractor that it was her last straw and that she was all out of options, having treated with Acupuncture, Physical Therapy, pain medications, and anti-seizure medications for pain control. The sensation she was having ranged anywhere from electrical shocks on one side of her face, hot burning water, to bugs crawling across her skin. She did not obtain long term relief with any of these treatment options other than the chiropractic manipulation. If you are experiencing Trigeminal Neuralgia pain, chiropractic care may be able to help. An initial evaluation with a Chiropractor may be able to uncover some Upper Cervical problems that may be contributing to or directly causing Trigeminal Neuralgia. Call to set up an evaluation today.

Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) has been termed the “Suicide Pain”. As stated by the patient in this study, it brings people to their knees by its sharp, sudden, severe, but brief stabbing, recurrent pain. The pain is in the distribution of the fifth cranial nerve. The risk of developing the problem (known as prevalence) for TN is 1/1000 for men and 2/1000 for women. The Incidence of TN is 4/1000 for men and 6.5/1000 for women. TN is approximately twice as common in females as males. Primary care physicians will encounter TN 4 times in a 35-year career and chiropractors even less, as stated by this paper. Upper Cervical Chiropractors who specialize in correcting misalignment in the C1 and C2 vertebra tend to see it more than what was reported here because of the chiropractic speciality. TN pain can be activated by a sensitization of the Trigeminal Nucleus, found just behind the Temporomandibular Joint in the skull. Patients that visit Upper Cervical Chiropractors often report more problems with their Upper Cervical Spine and craniocervical junction (which includes the bas of the skull). Therefore, TN comes up more frequently. The nucleus of the Trigmeninal nerve can get activated via the Trigeminocervical nucleus found in the Upper Cervical Spine, which has a direct nerve connection to the spinal nerves that arise at C1, C2, and C3 in the Upper Cervical Spine. Upper Cervical Chiropractors gently assess and realign C1 and C2 under the skull, to decrease the stimulus into the Trigeminocervical nucleus which fires up into the nerves in the face. If there has been trauma to the Upper Cervical spine via head and neck injuries, or repetitive poor posture from sitting at a desk for years, it can be a contributing factor or a causative factor of TN. So if this sounds like you, call an upper cervical specialist to be checked for Upper Cervical misalignment.

The treatment options for TN include Physical Therapy, medications like carbamazepine, gabapentin, pregabalin, and tricyclic antidepressants for pain. If these treatments don’t work to reduce the pain, usually the next step is decompression or compression of the nerve via surgery, or radiofrequency ablation of the nerve by burning it. This paper showed good success when treatment was consistent with manual manipulation of the Upper Cervical spine. So why not try a specialist in the Upper Cervical spine? Call us today! 603-380-9184