Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition affecting the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for carrying sensations from your face to your brain. This painful condition often gets worse over time. If you think you may be suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, Maragal Medical can help. Please contact our office in Leominster, Massachusetts, today to make an appointment for noninvasive chiropractic care.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Q & A
Why does trigeminal neuralgia occur?
Trigeminal neuralgia usually occurs when something disrupts the normal function of your trigeminal nerve. In many cases, the disruption results from contact between the part of the nerve at the base of your brain and one of your nearby blood vessels. The pressure on the nerve causes it to malfunction, leading to uncomfortable symptoms in your face.
Trigeminal neuralgia may develop when tumors press on the nerve, when a disease damages the myelin sheath around your nerve, or as a result of the aging process. In some cases, patients have trigeminal neuralgia because of a trauma to the nerve.
What are the symptoms?
If you have trigeminal neuralgia, you may notice any of the following symptoms:
- Pain in your lips, gums, teeth, jaw, or cheek
- Pain that affects one side of your face at a time
- Pain focused in one spot on your face or spread over a specific pattern of areas
Patients with trigeminal neuralgia usually experience episodes of pain that may last several seconds or several minutes. Attacks usually become more frequent and painful over time. Many patients experience attacks after being exposed to specific triggers. Triggers may include:’
- Touching your face
- Brushing your teeth
- Putting on makeup
How is it diagnosed?
The team at Maragal Medical usually diagnose trigeminal neuralgia based on a review of your symptoms, a physical examination, and your medical history. They may also recommend neurological exams or other testing for some patients.
Can it be treated?
In many cases, patients develop trigeminal neuralgia in part because of problems in the cervical spine. Addressing these problems can reduce the frequency and intensity of your attacks.
To improve the alignment and stability of your cervical spine, we may recommend chiropractic adjustments and corrective exercises. If you have tight muscles in your neck that make these issues worse, we may also recommend massage therapy to loosen them and improve blood flow. In addition, some patients with trigeminal neuralgia may benefit from laser therapy or cervical decompression, which relieves pressure on the structures in your neck.