Acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia
What is trigeminal neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia is the pain of the trigeminal nerve.
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.
Trigeminal nerve has three branches located on the face and response for the corresponding area (see the image).
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 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.
Some patients try to rub cheeks to ease the pain, which result in rough skin on the face, and sparse eyebrow.
What causes trigeminal neuralgia
The common cause of trigeminal neuralgia is the impairment of the nerve function. 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.
Chinese medicine acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia
Chinese medicine explanation of trigeminal neuralgia
- Exterior wind invasion
- Internal wind
- Qi and blood stagnation
Treatment for the underlying causes
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help
- Relieve pain – acupuncture has proven to be effectively 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 stress and anxiety.
There is no adverse effect of acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia.
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