Chiropractic care is a safe, effective treatment for trigeminal neuralgia (TN), an uncommon headache disorder that causes sharp pain on one side of the face.

Highly-qualified chiropractors will adjust your upper spine to alleviate nerve pain and reduce your risk of future TN flare-ups. Many cases of TN are caused by upper spinal compression. This is because the upper cervical spine is where the spinal trigeminal tract and nucleus exist.

Chiropractic treatment is the most effective way to relieve trigeminal neuralgia pain and improve your quality of life. 

Pain-free chiropractic adjustment and decompression address the root cause of nerve pain and will never lose effectiveness.

Visit an upper cervical chiropractor as soon as possible for chronic pain relief treatment options. Contact us at Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic or call us at 303-955-8270. New patients are welcome!

What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a painful condition in which headaches or upper neck pain emanates from the trigeminal nerve on one side of the face. TN pain feels like an electric shock or a sharp, stabbing headache throughout one cheek.

This nervous system disorder causes intense pain where the brainstem and the C1 vertebra meet the fifth cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve. Compression of the nerve where it enters the brain causes the nerve to misfire and send pain signals to the brain.

The trigeminal nerve is a set of cranial nerves, one that goes to the right side of your head, and the other to the right. Each of these nerves branches into 3 parts that control sensations on different parts of the face (any or all of which can be irritated and lead to TN symptoms):

  • Ophthalmic nerve (V1): Eye, upper eyelid, and forehead
  • Maxillary nerve (V2): Lower eyelid, cheek, nostril, upper lip, and upper gum
  • Mandibular nerve (V3): Jaw, lower lip, lower gum, and some of the chewing muscles

Trigeminal neuralgia is also known as:

Conventional doctors often prescribe medication to mask the pain symptoms. The medication comes with a long list of side effects, and the effectiveness of the drug wanes with time. 

Chiropractors aim to treat the root cause of trigeminal neuralgia with targeted spinal adjustments.

Signs & Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:

  • Severe, stabbing pain on one side of your head
  • Numbness, burning, or tingling in the cheek or jaw
  • Sudden pain after chewing, talking, smiling, or touching your face
  • Pain duration of a few seconds to several minutes
  • Multiple attacks lasting days, weeks, months, or longer
  • Pain in the cheek, jaw, lips, teeth, gums, eyes, or forehead

Causes & Triggers

Conventional medicine has not agreed on a singular cause of trigeminal neuralgia. However, TN pain generally occurs when the trigeminal nerve is somehow compressed or irritated and its protective myelin coating is worn down.

Causes of trigeminal neuralgia include:

  • Compression of the trigeminal nerve or spinal cord
  • Upper cervical spinal misalignment
  • Spinal injury, such as whiplash
  • Facial injury
  • Blood vessel compression of the trigeminal nerve
  • An abnormal tangle of blood vessels
  • Tumor
  • Cyst (fluid-filled sac)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Trauma after surgery

Activities that can trigger TN pain:

  • Touching your face
  • Injury to face
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Smiling
  • Talking
  • Brushing your teeth
  • Flossing
  • Strong wind against the cheek

Chiropractic Care for Trigeminal Neuralgia Relief

Upper cervical chiropractic care can relieve trigeminal nerve compression, therefore treating the underlying cause of trigeminal neuralgia.

This 2022 case study finds that chiropractic treatment not only treats trigeminal neuralgia, but it can also treat all sorts of low back pain and even Bell’s palsy.

Treatment plans may also include prevention strategies, at-home stretches, and even acupuncture (which is actually a scientifically-supported treatment for TN).

Schedule your appointment with Denver Upper Cervical Chiropractic today! Our experts have helped hundreds relieve their pesky headaches and migraine pain — whether medication has failed you or you don’t want to take pharmaceuticals with lots of adverse side effects.


  1. Shim, Y. W., Paeng, S. H., Lee, K. S., Kim, S. T., & Lee, W. H. (2019). Trigeminal neuralgia resulting from delayed cervical cord compression after acute traumatic fracture of the odontoid process. Korean Journal of Neurotrauma, 15(1), 38. Full text:
  2. Rodine, R. J., & Aker, P. (2010). Trigeminal neuralgia and chiropractic care: a case report. The Journal of the Canadian Chiro Association, 54(3), 177. Full text:
  3. Kikkeri, N. S., & Nagalli, S. (2021). Trigeminal neuralgia. In StatPearls [Internet]. StatPearls Publishing. Full text:
  4. Chu, E. C. P., Trager, R. J., & Chen, A. T. C. (2022). Concurrent Bell’s Palsy and Facial Pain Improving with Multimodal Chiropractic Therapy: A Case Report and Literature Review. The American Journal of Case Reports, 23, e937511-1. Full text:
  5. Edwards, J. W., & Shaw, V. (2021). Acupuncture in the management of trigeminal neuralgia. Acupuncture in Medicine, 39(3), 192-199. Abstract: