Empowered You Acupuncture specializes in acupuncture as a natural treatment for trigeminal neuralgia and other forms of facial nerve pain.
Read on to learn about acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia, and how we can improve your quality of life without drugs or surgery!
What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder involving one of the12 pairs of cranial nerves, the nerves that run down both sides of your head. The 5th cranial nerve is called the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is the largest of the cranial nerves and allows you to feel sensations in your face.
When the trigeminal nerve is injured or irritated, it can cause severe, excruciating facial pain along the nerve pathway. The pain is usually on one side of the face only (although it can affect both sides of the face).
The trigeminal nerve has three main branches: an ophthalmic branch which goes to the eye, nose and forehead, a maxillary branch that goes through the upper teeth, gums and cheeks, and a mandibular branch that runs through the lower jaw, teeth and gums.
Trigeminal neuralgia can affect any of these three branches of the trigeminal nerve. Many people who first develop trigeminal neuralgia think they are suffering from an infected tooth.
Trigeminal neuralgia has been described as one of the most painful conditions known to humanity.
Older medical texts referred to it by its French name, tic douloureux, which literally means “painful tic”.
Some of our trigeminal neuralgia patients describe it as being like a lightning storm in their jaw.
Trigeminal neuralgia causes sharp, shooting, electric pain so intense it can literally bring you to your knees.
A trigeminal neuralgia flare up can happen anywhere from a few times a month, to a few times per day.
It can be triggered by chewing, brushing teeth, or even a light touch to the face or jaw.
During a flare up, the pain can be so excruciating that it can interfere with daily life.
Someone suffering with trigeminal neuralgia may have difficulty talking, walking, or doing much of anything.
It is so bad that it used to be labelled “the suicide disease” (which is not a label we endorse).
What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is typically caused by compression or damage to the trigeminal nerve.
A common cause of trigeminal neuralgia is compression of the trigeminal nerve by arteries and veins in the head. Over time, this irritates the nerve, causing it to misfire and send out pain signals.
Trigeminal neuralgia may also be caused by multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune condition that damages the myelin sheath, the outer covering that protects and insulates nerve fibers.
Another possible cause of trigeminal neuralgia is physical injury to the face. And in rare cases, it may be caused by a tumor putting pressure on the nerve.
The cause of a particular trigeminal neuralgia case may also be undetermined. This is called “idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia”.
Conventional Treatments for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trigeminal Neuralgia is typically treated with anti-seizure drugs like carbamazepine, or opioids.
These medications may not work for everyone, and they do not address the underlying causes of trigeminal neuralgia pain.
Even if they do work, medications can come with significant side effects like dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, or even depression.
Acupuncture: A Natural Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Fortunately, there are also safe, effective, natural treatments for trigeminal neuralgia.
One of the most effective treatments for trigeminal neuralgia pain is acupuncture.
Acupuncture works by regulating pain signaling in the brain and releasing pain killing neurotransmitters. This can soothe trigeminal neuralgia pain and “rewire” a malfunctioning trigeminal nerve.
Acupuncture also reduces inflammation and optimizes blood flow, which can help to repair and regenerate damaged nerve tissue.
In 2022, a systematic review and meta-analysis of 58 randomized controlled trials with 4,126 participants found that acupuncture was superior to medication in reducing trigeminal neuralgia pain.
Another study of 116 patients with trigeminal neuralgia found that acupuncture not only significantly decreased pain, but also improved cognitive function and overall quality of life.
The relief from acupuncture is extremely long lasting. A 2017 longitudinal study of 60 patients found that acupuncture outperformed medication in trigeminal neuralgia pain reduction, and that pain relief after a course of treatment was maintained six months later.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Acupuncture Treatments in Brea
If you are looking for an effective, natural, non-invasive option for trigeminal neuralgia, you should consider acupuncture.
Empowered You Acupuncture provides specialized acupuncture treatments for trigeminal neuralgia in Brea, CA.
Our goal is to empower you to live pain free!
Don’t let trigeminal neuralgia destroy your quality of life.
Call today to book your consultation: