Pain can be a sign or a warning that there is something seriously wrong with you. If, for example, you are experiencing recurring fits of severe pain in the face, you are most likely suffering from trigeminal neuralgia. What is this condition, and how can you get rid of it?
Trigeminal neuralgia (also called tic douloureux) is an example of true neuralgia, the other two being causalgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia. It is generally known to be a symptom rather than a disease. In contrast to neuritis (a degenerative lesion of a nerve), it does not exhibit any apparent change in the nerve’s structure.
This is an acute paroxysmal pain that involves one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. This nerve moves sensations (such as feel, cold, heat, and pain) from the face to the central nervous system. Once this nerve fails to function normally, a powerful sensation of pain is unleashed. The pain is not constant, but it occurs in sudden outbreaks. Often, it is triggered by some activity that affects the face or by something that comes in contact with the face. It can be the mere chewing of food or the light touch of fingers. It seems as if these simple, natural activities are converted into pain by the trigeminal nerve’s excessive reaction.
Various studies and researches have resulted to the development of several options and techniques to treat trigeminal neuralgia. One particular option involves the use of certain drugs (those that are not classified as painkillers) which influence the way sensory messages are transmitted by the nerves. Specifically, these drugs work to prevent the nerves from transforming ordinary sensations into pain. But some drugs are known to cause serious side effects, including dizziness, skin rash, ataxia (also called incoordination), and, worse, damage to the blood-forming tissues.
In another treatment option (this one’s considered drastic), alcohol is injected into the involved nerve. This may put a temporary stop to the pain that may last for up to about one-and-a-half years.
Another option involves surgery in which some of the nerve cells that are responsible for conveying pain are destroyed; or the surgeon may ease the pressure on the nerve cells caused by enlarged blood vessels. However, these procedures have generated some controversy since they are known to numb or even weaken the face permanently.
There are many other ways to treat trigeminal neuralgia. You actually have a number of safe choices from among several options available – both mainstream and alternative – that can help you get relief from this pain fast.