Trigeminal neuralgia: it sounds scary because it is scary. It is actually labeled the suicide disease. I am Dr. Zach Shaw with the Upper Cervical Spine Center, and many patients in our office experience trigeminal neuralgia. Unfortunately, they come to our office because our office is their last hope.
They have been everywhere – neurologists, pain doctors, all kinds of different doctors, yet no one can figure out what is causing the trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is a severe condition where the face feels like it is constantly in pain. Pain sensation ranges from pins and needles, to very sharp, stabbing pains, to burning sensations, and this can go all the way into the eye, teeth, and jaw. Frequently, it happens out of nowhere, but can sometimes be due to a specific accident. It is called the suicide disease for a reason. People literally cannot live with this condition. They cannot sleep. They cannot function. They cannot enjoy life. It is a terrible, terrible condition.
When people come to us with this condition, we feel so terrible for them, and we wish that more people (maybe you) could find an Upper Cervical doctor, so they can get the help that they need. Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by severe facial pain. The trigeminal nerve, or the fifth cranial nerve, comes off the brainstem and innervates the face. It has three branches that separately go to your eye, cheek, and jaw. This is why patients have facial pain, whether it is on the top of their face, the bottom of the face, or possibly both. Why do patients seek out Upper Cervical care? Why do we get amazing results with trigeminal neuralgia patients? The reason is directly due to brainstem.
The nucleus of the trigeminal nerve starts at the brainstem. The brainstem is surrounded by the top two bones in your neck. When we see patients, we perform an exam and take x-rays of these bones. Almost always, we find an upper cervical misalignment or a misalignment in one of the top two bones in the neck that causes pressure on the brainstem. In their case, it’s affecting that trigeminal nerve. What we do is we locate the misalignment and correct it to take the pressure off the brainstem, thus freeing up the trigeminal nerve.
As we keep pressure off the brainstem, we see the trigeminal neuralgia go away. It is quite amazing stuff and usually, these people end up crying from happiness because they have finally gotten rid of this terrible, terrible disease called trigeminal neuralgia.