There are several causes for pain that affects the head and face. Headaches and migraines typically respond to medications but more severe disorders are resistant to drugs. Occipital and Trigeminal Neuralgia are two causes of severe head pain that have shown to be resistant to drug therapies, leading patients down a painful path of injections and even surgeries. However, there is hope for patients that are effected by these severe pain conditions that do not lie in traditional drug and invasive therapies.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it is estimated that 150,000 cases of trigeminal neuralgia are diagnosed each year. Most common in people over the age of 50 and affecting more women than men, the extreme pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia is typically due to contact between a healthy artery or vain and the trigeminal nerve at the base of the brain. Other causes may include a tumor or multiple sclerosis so it is very important to see a physician if you are experiencing this type of pain.
Occipital Neuralgia causes pain very similar to that of trigeminal neuralgia, only with symptoms located on one side of the scalp rather than the face. Most of the feeling that we have in the back and top of the head is transmitted to the brain by two great occipital nerves, one on each side of the head. Irritation of these nerves anywhere along their course can cause severe pain characterized as shooting, zapping, electric or tingling. Occipital neuralgia can occur spontaneously or from an injury or pinched nerve in the neck, scalp or skull. While true occipital neuralgia is quite rare, many types of headaches, especially migraines, involve the same areas and can inflame the occipital nerve.
Although trigeminal and occipital neuralgia cannot always be cured, there are effective ways to treat the disorders, without drugs or invasive techniques. Acupuncture has been shown to be effective in some patients, as has chiropractic care. Many patients are finding fast-acting and effective relief through the more specialized treatment by Chiropractic Neurology. Highly trained in the intricacies of the brain-nervous system connection, chiropractic neurologists can effectively uncover which areas of a patient’s nervous system are causing the problem, and then can create the best treatment plan possible, uncovering the root of the pain, not merely masking the symptoms, and ultimately returning the patient to a state of optimum health and well being. As each patient’s symptoms and experiences are unique, so are the treatment plans that your Chiropractic Neurologist will develop.
If you or a loved one is suffering from head pain and have been unsuccessful with more traditional medical treatments, or would like a drug-free approach to your care, contact Dr Marc Ellis today to see how Chiropractic Neurology can help restore you to a greater sense of well being.