What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Trigeminal neuralgia, also known as tic douloureux or tic convulsif, is a chronic pain disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve. This nerve regulates sensation across your facial structures. It’s also responsible for facial movement and stimuli responses around the eyes, mouth, and jaw.
This condition causes intense, stabbing pain in the face. The pain can be triggered by touching or brushing against the mouth, chewing, and even breathing. Depending on the severity of your condition, bouts of trigeminal neuralgia can last for a few minutes to several hours. Because the pain can be triggered by chewing, eating, or other everyday activities, trigeminal neuralgia can cause significant disruption to your daily life.
Signs and Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia
The most common symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is pain in one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. The pain is often described as a sharp, stabbing, shock-like sensation and is usually confined to one side of the face.
Additional symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include dull throbbing, aching, burning, or a pins-and-needles feeling in the face. Over time, trigeminal neuralgia pain may radiate to other parts of the face, head, or neck.
How the Upper Cervical Spine Affects Trigeminal Neuralgia
The upper cervical spine is often overlooked as a cause for trigeminal neuralgia pain. However, the upper cervical spine, which consists of the Atlas (C1) and Axis (C2) vertebrae, plays an important role in the proper function of the trigeminal nerve.
When the upper cervical spine is misaligned, the ensuing inflammation can pinch and compress the trigeminal nerve, producing an ongoing state of low-grade irritation. This irritation can cause the trigeminal nerve to fire more frequently than it should. This misfiring and increased sensitivity may lead to the occurrence of trigeminal neuralgia.
How Our Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment Works
Upper cervical chiropractic care is a natural and alternative method of treating trigeminal neuralgia. Our upper cervical chiropractic care will realign the upper spine to relieve pressure on the trigeminal nerve and promote healing throughout the nervous system.
Our treatment for trigeminal neuralgia begins with a comprehensive assessment of the upper cervical spine. If we find a misalignment, our expert chiropractors, Dr. Hoefer or Dr. Marsh, will use digital X-rays and cone-beam computed tomography scans to determine the precise angle and location of the misaligned vertebra.
Using gentle and precise adjustments, Dr. Hoefer or Dr. Marsh will then realign the upper spine and restore the function of the trigeminal nerve. To provide you with lasting relief from trigeminal neuralgia, our chiropractor may recommend further chiropractic care visits to ensure the upper cervical spine remains properly aligned.
If you’re looking for a natural, drug-free treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, Dr. Hoefer and Dr. Marsh service Orange County, including Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Rancho Santa Margarita, Dana Point, San Clemente, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Newport Beach, and Santa Ana.