If you are suffering from facial pain or neuralgia, acupuncture treatment and Chinese herbal medicine may be worth investigating. Trigeminal neuralgia, or "tic douloureaux" (which means "painful spasm" in French), is a painful and disturbing syndrome of pain in one of three divisions of the trigeminal nerve.
There are three areas of the face which are served by the trigeminal nerve, roughly corresponding to the forehead and eyebrow, the eye and cheek and upper jaw, and the lower jaw. Usually one sided, facial neuralgias can occasionally affect both sides of the face. Typically, the pain is extremely penetrating and intense, and can be triggered by movement of the facial muscles or touching a "trigger" point on the face or inside the mouth.
The traditional medical systems which developed in China recommend the use of acupuncture and moxabustion in the acute phase of neuralgia, and sometimes require the addition of root and bark based remedies. For more than 2500 years, generations of patients and physicians have depended on traditional systems of medicine for treatment of painful conditions in the head, including trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia can be associated with structural problems inside the skull, but usually no treatable cause is found, and Western doctors will generally recommend symptomatic treatment with drugs. In extreme cases, surgery is attempted. Because acupuncture and herbal therapy have many fewer side effects than pharmaceutical drugs and surgery, we recommend that a patient try traditional medicine before investigating higher risk Western medical treatments or surgery.
With the passage of time, most pain problems become more complex and difficult to treat, so we always advise a patient to call for an appointment as soon as symptoms appear, without any further delay.
Acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia is most effective when applied promptly after the appearance of the syndrome. Trigeminal neuralgia associated with concussion or head injury is especially responsive if treatment is applied soon after the injury, preferably within 48 hours.
If you have considered traditional medicine techniques such as acupuncture and herbal medicine for trigeminal neuralgia, you can come to our site for more information.
Dr. L.B. Grotte, M.D., was the first physician in Ohio to be board certified in both acupuncture and Chinese herbology. He has studied Oriental medicine since 1972 and has practiced Oriental medicine in Cleveland for more than 27 years. Our small practice specializes in creating individualized treatment plans combining Western and Oriental methods. Call us at 440-461-7488 to make an appointment or visit our website for more information.