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Symptom of the Week: Neuralgia

Neuralgia is a sharp, shocking pain that follows the path of a nerve and is due to irritation or damage to the nerve.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disorder of the fifth cranial nerve which causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed – lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw. The disorder most often affects one side of the face, but some patients experience pain at different times on both sides. Trigeminal Neuralgia is considered to be one of the most painful afflictions known to medical science.

Researchers have determined that TN pain originates from damage to the Trigeminal nerve in the face and from damage to the central Trigeminal system in the upper spine. Trauma to the head and neck resulting in injury to nerve pathways in the spinal cord and brain stem, has been shown in medical literature to be a possible cause of TN. Following the trauma, facial pain can be triggered immediately or can take months or years to develop.

(above) Trigeminal Nerve

How Chiropractic Relates to Trigeminal Neuralgia

Symptoms of TN can be helped by correcting the misalignments of the spine caused by trauma, and removing compression of the brain stem and surrounding nerves. After nerve irritation has been removed, proper communication is restored between the brain and spinal cord, and the surrounding nerves. Chiropractic can be helpful by releasing the pressure of the artery or vein pressing on the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain. When a misalignment is found, very specific, gentle adjustments are made to correct the misaligned vertebrae in the neck.

Occipital Neuralgia

(above) Ocipital Nerves

Some patients describe this condition as the crushing neck and head pain that takes over their lives.

Occipital neuralgia can have several causes (injury, repetitious neck contraction, vascular compression, and others). The result is always the same: spinal subluxation with inflammation that leads to damaged nerves.

The symptom is: a chronic headache most often in the back of the head. Some people also experience headaches that then radiate over the top of or around the sides of the head to the eyebrow or behind the eye. Light sensitivity can also occur, leading to a misdiagnosis of tension headache or migraine.

The pain is intense and feels like a sharp, jabbing, electric shock in the back of the head and neck.

Other symptoms may include:

•Aching, burning, and throbbing pain that starts at the base of the head and radiates to the scalp
•Tender scalp
•Pain and or stiffness when moving the neck

If you have been diagnosed with occipital or trigeminal neuralgia and you want to avoid drugs, you should consider trying a chiropractor. Call us today!

carrickfergus, chiropractor, neuralgia, neck pain, face pain, jaw pain, headaches

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