Trigeminal Neuralgia 101

Have You Tried Trigeminal Neuralgia? Actually, please don’t.

Trigeminal Neuralgia has been coined “the suicide disease.” Among many other forms of chronic pain, this one is reportedly the worst.

When breaking down the name:

As with most medical terminology, the origin is Latin. “Tri” means three and represents the three different branches of the nerve. These branches correlate to the pain patterns found with TN (Trigeminal Neuralgia) patients.

Neuralgia can be broken down into base words “Neuro”, meaning nerve and “Algia”, meaning pain.

The Trigeminal nerve is one of 12 unique cranial nerves which travel directly from the brain to the body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of TN include:

  • Pain in the cheek, jaw, teeth, gums, lips, eyes, forehead or ears
  • Usually only affects one side of the body
  • Pain may be a short-term shooting, stabbing, electric or constant aching and burning
  • Episodes last anywhere from seconds to years


According to the Mayo Clinic, the common TN patient is a female either 50 or older and common causes include aging, multiple sclerosis, tumor, surgical injuries, stroke or facial trauma. The conventional model for treatment is either medications, injections or surgery.

The good news is that if your case of Trigeminal Neuralgia is due to ANYTHING besides tumors, or stroke… there may be hope.

When looking at the neurology of TN there is a very important anatomical component that is often overlooked. It is called the Trigeminal Nuclei and Tract.

The interesting part about the Trigeminal Nuclei and Tract is that it carries a plethora of signals from the brain to the face and is housed completely within the spinal cord.

The two most commonly reported occurrences prior to the onset of TN include trauma to the head/neck and or dental procedures.

With onset secondary to Dental procedures, it is often “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” In other words, patients usually have long standing structural issues of the spine and once put into a compromised head and neck position for a prolonged period, the disease process begins (on that note, don’t blame your dentist!)


With TN onset secondary to car accidents or head and neck trauma, the motion of whiplash can shift the Foundational bones of the body putting pressure on the Trigeminal Nuclei & Tract which obstructs electrical flow from the brain to the face.

For idiopathic or “no known cause” of TN, there is often a history of whiplash, and obviously dental procedures. In fact, according to Chiropractic researcher Dr. Mike Burcon, the average onset of TN after a head injury is 13 YEARS. The logical reason for this delay is the body’s resiliency. Our body is made to heal and thrive until it just can’t any longer.

At Balance Chiropractic, our goal is not to focus on the secondary conditions (symptoms) associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia. Our goal is to find and correct the cause. We use 4 objective indicators to see if you’re a candidate for our methods. All indicators have a window of normal and abnormal aka “Healthy or Unhealthy.” If your measurements are out of normal limits, our correction is a non-traditional form of chiropractic that includes no popping, twisting or pulling.

Give us a call today at 719.265.0115 and set up your complimentary consultation to see if we can help!

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