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I Suffer From Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment

Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatment Brisbane

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic nerve pain condition that affects one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. This nerve carries sensation from your face and scalp to your brain. The pain is almost always severe in nature and may become more severe over time.

At Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinics, we have treated countless patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia with impressive results. Our expert headache clinicians expect to observe improvement within the first 5 treatment consultations. Plus our methods for treating trigeminal neuralgia are medication-free, surgery-free and invasive-free!

Book a consultation with us today.

Understanding your Headache

Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

With Trigeminal Neuralgia, attacks are often described as a debilitating pain, lasting anywhere from a fraction of a second, up to 2 minutes and occasionally longer. Additionally, the attacks may present as either shock-like, stabbing, shooting or sharp, severe pain on one side of the face. In some cases trigeminal neuralgia pain can appear as a persistent dull ache, this and other symptom variations can be referred to as “atypical trigeminal neuralgia”.

The frequency of attacks can be anything from 1 to 50 attacks per day. The pain is almost always severe in nature and may become more severe over time. Sufferers may also experience tearing or redness in the eye on the same side as the facial pain.

Sufferers of Trigeminal Neuralgia are often extremely hypersensitive and report that even slight stimuli can cause painful attacks, sometimes lasting as little as seconds, or as long as minutes. Stimuli such as:

• touching the face

• brushing teeth

• chewing, or even

• speaking

Typically, the condition is more common in women (60%) than men (40%) and is more likely to occur in people aged over 50 years old.

Headache treatment in Brisbane

Understanding Your Headache

What is the cause of Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Since Trigeminal Nerves are one of the largest nerves supplying the face and head, Trigeminal Neuralgia can have many causes. A common theme among many Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers is that they have a sensitized brainstem.

A sensitised brainstem will perceive non-threatening stimuli (such as brushing your teeth) from the Trigeminal Nerve as a potential threat and will react, creating excruciating pain to be felt where the sensory information was originally detected. This hyperexcitability of the pain sensation is due to the heightened arousal and sensitive brainstem. A sensitive brainstem will relay the sensory information (pain signals) to the brain, but will heighten the sensation so that the brain perceives the information as painful. 

Normal daily activities, such as touching the head or face, can become “triggers” that set off painful attacks.

 

How is Trigeminal Neuralgia Diagnosed?

Trigeminal neuralgia is typically diagnosed through a comprehensive assessment involving medical history, physical examination, and sometimes imaging tests. Healthcare providers inquire about the nature and triggers of facial pain, conduct a thorough physical examination to check for sensory abnormalities or muscle weakness in the face, and may order imaging tests like MRI to rule out other potential causes. Additionally, response to certain medications commonly used for trigeminal neuralgia, such as anticonvulsants, can provide further diagnostic insight. Through this process, healthcare professionals aim to accurately identify trigeminal neuralgia and tailor treatment strategies to alleviate symptoms effectively.

Organise Your Initial Assessment

About The Assessment Stage

What To Expect During The Assessment


1. Comprehensive and in-depth examination

We instigate an in-depth assessment to identify all possible related factors that could be causing your headaches or migraines. The upper cervical spine, in particular, is thoroughly examined to identify possible issues.



2. Ligamental stability and vertebral arterial tests

We undertake careful examination of neck ligaments and vertebral arteries, ensuring only the highest standards of patient safety and comfort.


3. Temporarily reproduce your headache and migraine symptoms

As a part of the treatment process, we apply gentle and selective stress to the upper cervical spine in order to reproduce headache symptoms, which subside after 20-30 seconds. This helps to identify and treat the cause of your headaches.

Types of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Classical Trigeminal Neuralgia

This subcategory of Trigeminal Neuralgia refers to a patient that develops the disorder without apparent cause, apart from neurovascular compression. This means that the nerve itself has become damaged as a direct result of compression from the vascular system i.e. blood vessel, vein or artery. This normally happens at the site of the nerve root, in the brainstem.

Classical Trigeminal Neuralgia can further be split into “Purely Paroxysmal” and “with Concomitant Continuous Pain” with the former being associated with pain-free periods between attacks, and the latter being associated with more mild pain between attacks.

Secondary Trigeminal Neuralgia

This subcategory of Trigeminal Neuralgia refers to a patient that develops the disorder as a result of an underlying disease.

Recognised causes are Multiple Sclerosis, a tumour in the cerebellopontine angle, or arteriovenous malformation.

Idiopathic Trigeminal Neuralgia

This subcategory of Trigeminal Neuralgia refers to a patient that experiences symptoms consistent with Trigeminal Neuralgia, however, they demonstrate no obvious abnormalities via electrophysiological tests or MRIs. Much like Classicial Trigeminal Neuralgia, this diagnosis may suggest pathology of the brainstem.

Trigeminal Neuralgia may also be split into “Purely Paroxysmal” and “with Concomitant Continuous Pain” with the former being associated with pain-free periods between attacks, and the latter being associated with more mild pain between attacks. Continuous pain in between severe attacks is seen in around half of all Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers.

It is not uncommon for Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers to go undiagnosed for long periods of time or even misdiagnosed, as the symptoms presented can be similar to those of Migraine Headaches, or Cluster Headaches.

I’ve already tried everything! What other ways is Trigeminal Neuralgia treated?

Treating your Trigeminal Neuralgia

You may have tried several methods in order to treat trigeminal neuralgia symptoms including over-the-counter painkillers, strong anticonvulsant/antispasmodic medications, Botox injections and even surgical procedures such as microvascular decompression (MVD).

In some cases, these ways can provide pain relief and alleviate the symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia. However, despite all of these treatment options, sufferers may still find themselves having painful attacks. In some instances (particularly after surgery involving the trigeminal nerve root) sufferers have experienced hearing loss, cerebral spinal fluid leak and facial numbness.

If you suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia, or if you think it sounds like your symptoms and medication has given you no significant relief, then we believe that you should have a thorough examination of your neck and brainstem in order to investigate the CAUSE of your symptoms

At the Brisbane Headache and Migraine Clinic, we have seen countless Trigeminal Neuralgia sufferers and use world-class techniques in identifying whether the neck and brainstem are at fault. A thorough examination of the upper cervical spine is initiated to determine the severity of your sensitised brainstem.

Once treatment commences we expect a significant improvement to occur rapidly in 90% of our patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia and within the first 5 treatment consultations.

The best part about the treatment is being medication-free, surgery-free and invasive-free.

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