Neuralgia is a neurological disease, caused by inflammation, degeneration, compression, irritation or damage to a sensitive nerve. These processes are caused by internal factors (such as inflammatory processes, tumors, etc.) or external (viral infections, exposure to cold, etc.). It is manifested by stabbings of acute pain with calm intervals during which prevails a painful sensation and/or burnings. The episodes of pain stabbings may last from several seconds to several minutes, for several days or even for weeks. Depending on the affected nerve branch and on the innervated areas, there can be distinguished several forms:
- trigeminal neuralgia or tic doulereux (the most frequent form of neuralgia; the pain is located on one side of the face, in the lips, toothgums, cheeks, upper eyelids and upper jaw; it is caused by damage to the trigeminal nerve)
- glossopharyngeal neuralgia (similar to the trigeminal neuralgia; intense and paroxysmal pain; the pain iradiates from throat or ear to the posterior paryngeal or amygdalian wall, triggered by the inflammation of the tympanic branch of the glossopharyngeal nerve; there may be associated cardiac manifestations: bradycardia, hypotension, and syncopes)
- postherpetic neuralgia (triggered by infection with zoster herpetic virus; it is caused by an incomplete healing of the affected nerve branch)
- occipital neuralgia or Arnold neuralgia (constant pains and painful stabbings in the occipital area, originating from the back of the ear, with iradiation towards the scalp; triggered by local inflammatory process)
- intercostal neuralgia (the pain is located in intercostal space)
- sciatic neuralgia (it affects the sciatic nerve; the pains start from the lumbar area and they iradiate along one or both lower limbs; they become more acute at bending, sudden movements, elevation, coughing or sneezing)
In the first stage of the treatment, we try to alleviate the neuralgic pains in order to help the patient put his activities back to normal. The therapies involved will stimulate the secretion of endorphine, a neurotransmitter with strong analgetic properties. The action of the endorphins in the body is similar to that of morphine or codeine. The alleviation of pain will relax the activity of the nervous system and will normalize the functions of the organs (the pain stabbings strain and influence the activity of all the organs in a negative way). The structure of the affected nerve branch is restored by means of certain herbs with regenerating, tonifying and revitalising action. The process that caused the alteration of the nerve branch is arrested; depending on the nature of this process, an appropiate treatment method will be established. Where the neuralgia occurs as an effect of other disease – as is the case of the neuralgias caused by the compression of the nerves by tumors – the triggering factors will be treated.