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Trigeminal Neuralgia

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Trigeminal Neuralgia: No more Torture

Piercing screams were coming from the bathroom. “Mum! What’s happened?!” Brenda had to wait for the terrible pains shooting through her cheek to subside before she could answer. “I touched my face.” Trigeminal neuralgia has sadly been dubbed the ‘suicide disease’. It is one of the most excruciatingly painful conditions known.

The pain is ‘neuropathic’, arising from injury to the nerve itself, and most common painkillers, even morphine, will not help. Usually sufferers get short attacks of intensely sharp, stabbing or electric shock-like pain, which come on suddenly and can be triggered by something as simple as a cool breeze. Lightly touching your face, brushing teeth, eating or even just talking can bring it on. The pain is usually felt in the cheek or lower face, on one side only.

Hundreds of attacks, lasting seconds to minutes, can occur in one day, incapacitating the sufferer. Less commonly a milder, more constant aching pain occurs. In 80-90% of cases the root cause is usually a blood vessel in the brain pressing on the trigeminal nerve, destroying its insulating fatty sheath. More rarely it can be a sign of MS or a tumour, so must always be thoroughly checked out.

Anti-epileptic drugs like Carbamazepine are often prescribed because they can slow down the runaway nerve impulses to the brain.

In 2010 Chinese researcher Liu found some evidence suggesting that acupuncture can be just as effective as Carbamazepine, but without such high risk of adverse effects. Anti-epileptics can cause drowsiness, memory loss and confusion. Are you in Meath or Cavan and being tortured by Trigeminal Neuralgia? Give us a call right away here at Pain Remedial Clinic. It might just turn out to be the most rewarding phone call of your life!