Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is an uncommon but debilitating head pain condition stemming from irritation or inflammation of the trigeminal nerve in your upper spine.
Conventional treatments include anti-inflammatory meds and pain blockers, but upper cervical chiropractic may treat the underlying cause of TN.
Dr. Ty Carzoli is the best chiropractor in Colorado for trigeminal neuralgia. Schedule an appointment with Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractor today! We reserve Fridays for traveling patients.
Effective Treatments for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Also called tic douloureux, trigeminal neuralgia can be treated by precise chiropractic care, targeted medication, and surgery (in severe cases). Lifestyle changes may be implemented to prevent flare-ups or reduce your risk of worsening TN overall.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Upper cervical chiropractic focuses on the upper two vertebrae of the spine: the atlas (C1) and the axis (C2). Reducing spinal cord tension and aligning these upper vertebrae in your neck helps with all sorts of chronic pain syndromes, including trigeminal neuralgia pain management.
Chiropractic care may reduce inflammation directly or indirectly impacting the trigeminal nerve. Take the pressure off the nerve, and pain relief will follow. Chiropractic can resolve face and neck pain while giving you back your quality of life.
If upper cervical chiropractic doesn’t resolve your issue, we can refer you to a surgeon — although this is a last resort, since surgery severs nerves instead of addressing the root cause.
The anticonvulsant medication, carbamazepine, is the conventional first-line treatment for TN, despite its side effects and danger to individuals of Asian descent.
Anti-inflammatories can help lower inflammation that may cause trigeminal irritation. These meds come with adverse side effects like indigestion, headaches, and birth defects in the kidneys. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may lose their efficacy over time.
Opioids can reduce your pain symptoms, although these potentially addictive drugs don’t address the underlying cause of your trigeminal pain.
Botox injections can dull the facial pain, although this medical injection is not a treatment option that addresses the root cause.
Certain lifestyle changes can prevent trigeminal neuralgia flare-ups, such as not touching your face. Any sensation against your face can cause TN pain.
Simple lifestyle changes to avoid triggering neuralgic pain include:
- Learn which side of your mouth to chew on.
- Practice gently brushing your teeth.
- Avoid being outside on windy days.
You can also adhere to an anti-inflammatory diet, which may reduce irritation of the trigeminal nerve. Avoid processed foods and extra-hot foods, but eat plenty of healthy fats and leafy greens.
Did you know that most chiropractors give dietary advice to support their clients’ holistic health? Talk to your chiropractor about the healthiest diet for your unique situation.
There are multiple surgical treatments which help reduce your trigeminal neuralgia pain. Most surgical interventions sever the nerve to prevent pain signals from reaching your brain, but the underlying cause of trigeminal dysfunction is left unaddressed.
Trigeminal neuralgia surgeries include:
What causes trigeminal neuralgia?
The root cause of trigeminal neuralgia is irritation or inflammation of the trigeminal nerve — the fifth cranial nerve and the largest of the twelve.
There are several factors that may cause irritation or inflammation of the trigeminal nerve:
The following activities cause trigeminal neuralgia flare-ups:
Diagnosing Trigeminal Neuralgia
Your doctor will diagnose your trigeminal neuralgia with a physical examination, a medical history, and ruling out other conditions. In some cases, imaging tests like an MRI may be used.
The physical examination may include pressing against parts of your face to identify the origin of your pain.
Your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history, family history, and the symptoms you’ve been experiencing.
What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia? Here are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia that your doctor may look for:
Below are the common conditions which a doctor may rule out to help diagnose trigeminal neuralgia:
If you’re looking for a medical professional to diagnose your trigeminal neuralgia without questioning your own experiences, Dr. Ty Carzoli of Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic listens to and respects his patients.
Instead of deadening the pain by severing nerves, consider chiropractic care to treat the underlying cause without surgery. More and more people like you are discovering chiropractic care for trigeminal neuralgia treatment.