Acupuncture for Trigeminal Neuralgia 针灸治疗三叉神经痛Acupuncture for Trigeminal Neuralgia - the Facial Nerve Pain 针灸治疗面部神经痛
You may have suffered chronic pain on your face. It is a shooting pain and similar to an electric shock on your face. The pain is severe and excruciating. Your doctor told you that you are having trigeminal neuralgia.
So, What is Trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is the facial nerve pain – the trigeminal nerve pain.
Trigeminal nerve is the nerve within the brain. It is responsible for the sensation of your face to brain, and the movement of bitting and chewing.
Neuralgia means nerve pain. It is a severe pain. The pain can be stabbing, sharp, burning. Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the common nerve pain on face.
Trigeminal neuralgia is commonly affect middle aged or elderly patients. The common age of trigeminal neuralgia is 40 year old. Women suffers more than men. It is more common on the right hand side of face.
The main symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:
- Sudden onset of severe pain from one point on your face, mouth or jaw;
- The pain is a cutting, burning, stabbing or electric shock-like pain;
- Pain can be triggered by talking, eating, washing, or brushing teeth;
- The pain normally lasts from a few seconds to a couple of minutes;
- With the disease progressively getting worse, pain can be severer and the onset can be more frequent. There is less pain at night;
Because there is no sign before pain attacks, you may feel very anxious and be afraid of talking, brushing teeth, eating.
Other symptoms and signs
Your mouth may deviated to one side due to pain and spastic twitching of facial muscles. In the early stages of trigeminal neuralgia, it’s common to have flushed face, red eyes, teary and running nose.
Sometimes you may try to rub cheeks to ease the pain, by doing so you have rough skin on the face, and sparse eyebrow.
What causes my trigeminal neuralgia?
The exact cause is not known. It may caused by
- Physical compression of the trigeminal nerve – inflammation or impairment of the nerve, or
- Some underlying condition that affects the nerve
It could be a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve where it meets brainstem. Other causes including multiple sclerosis or tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve. It is not uncommon for people to have trigeminal neuralgia after some dental work on the teeth.
If no underlying conditions are found your doctor may prescribe some drug for the pain. They are generally anti-convulsants. They stop your brain to feel the pain, however usually doesn’t stop the pain from happening.
Can Chinese medicine acupuncture help?
Traditionally acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used for facial pain. They are alternative natural approaches for facial nerve pain.
Chinese medicine explanation of trigeminal neuralgia
- Exterior wind invasion
- Internal wind
- Qi and blood stagnation
What treatment involved?
Chinese herbal medicine – Depends on the severity of the pain, and frequency of onset, your practitioner may suggest some Chinese herbs for you.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine may help
- Relieve pain – There are a few researches showed that acupuncture may reduce the pain from trigeminal neuralgia. Depends on the distribution of the nerve pain, we may choose different acupuncture points.
- Improve energy and sleep;
- Reduce emotional stress from and the cause of pain.
Is acupuncture painful?
You rarely feel the pain. Sometime you may feel a little dull ache or slightly tingling sensation. It is actually relaxing.
Is acupuncture safe on may face?
If performed by well trained practitioner, there is rarely any adverse effect of acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia.
We only single-used disposable needles at all time.
How many sessions and how frequent of acupuncture do I need for trigeminal neuralgia?
It varies from different people.
In our practice after a few sessions (average 5) many people may have significant improvement already.
Frequency of treatment: At the beginning you may need twice per week treatment for a couple of weeks. Once the pain is better, you may need only once per week or fortnightly, until you are much better. We then move to once per month for a maintenance care, or you can stop treatment totally if there is no more pain for a few weeks.
Michelle C,etc. Acupuncture treatment for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia: A longitudinal case-control double blinded study. Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine, November 2017, Volume 23, Issue 11, pp 829–836
Liu H, etc. A systematic review on acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia, Altern Ther Health Med. 2010 Nov-Dec;16(6):30-5.
Tapan K, etc. Effect of Acupuncture in Trigeminal Neuralgia. Medical AcupunctureVol. 20, No. 4 ORIGINAL PAPERS
确切原因尚不清楚。它可能是由三叉神经的物理压迫导致神经炎症或损伤，或一些影响神经的潜在疾病 – 比如说某条血管压迫与脑干相交的三叉神经。其他原因包括多发性硬化症或肿瘤压迫三叉神经。在对牙齿进行一些治疗处理之后，患上三叉神经痛的情况并不少见。
针灸 – 治疗期间可能会使用传统针灸或电针。
中药 – 根据疼痛的严重程度和发作频率，您的医生可能会为您推荐一些中药。
这个因人而异。在我们的诊疗中，仅仅几次（平均 5 次）治疗后，许多人就已经有了明显改善。