Trigeminal neuralgia, or TGN, is a condition that involves debilitating face pain that is caused when one or many blood vessels near the brainstem compress the largest nerve in the brain, the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending touch, pain, pressure and temperature signals from all parts of the face to the brain.
The more the trigeminal nerve gets pressed on by the blood vessels, the more the nerve gets irritated, which causes the pain. Also known as the suicide disease, this condition is rumored to consist of such severe pain that it drives sufferers to want to end their own lives just to get rid of the ache.
The sensations caused by the disease are known to occur suddenly, without warning, and to feel like a stabbing feeling or a jolt for electricity. It is felt throughout the entire face and can be triggered by normal everyday activity, such as brushing your teeth and washing your face, or even by a gust of wind. Although it can be controlled with various medications and, in some cases, surgery, there has been new research that shows that chiropractic treatments may be a more natural, low risk approach to treating this debilitating disease.
Some chiropractors believed that chiropractic manipulations may help patients suffering from trigeminal neuralgia get their pain under control. One practice in particular called The Pierce Clinic of Chiropractic has been using a new technique called Advanced Orthogonal. With this procedure, chiropractors can decipher where misalignments in the top of the spine and neck are occurring. They then correct them with an adjustment called a “percussion-wave.”
Some doctors feel that the head pain is caused by the trigeminal nerve and first three cervical nerves in the spine merging together. By manipulating the spinal area, it may help relieve the TGN by removing the pressure that is being placed on the trigeminal nerve by the compressing blood vessels. It is also thought that since the trigeminal nerve runs alongside the Atlas bone, which is the first bone located in the neck going towards the face, that manipulations of the Atlas may have an effect on the TGN. Since the nerve is so closely connected to that area, any misalignments in the upper cervical spine may have an effect on the disorder.
According to a study in the journal of Current Pain and Headache Reports, many patients have reported experiencing significant pain relief through regular chiropractic treatments. It also notes that the wave adjustment technique has been so successful in its use that it may also be successful in treating many other pain conditions as well. This may be helpful for people living with TGN and other chronic pain conditions who are looking for options that do not consist of the regular consumption of medications or surgical procedures.
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