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Neuralgia, also called nerve
pain, is defined as pain that follows the pathway of a
It can have many different causes. Sometimes a "primary
external agent" or cause at a particular site along the
nerve pathway can be identified. Chemicals,
inflammation, compression of tissues, tissue damage
from accident or surgery (including dental surgery) and tumors all can cause
The human face has two
trigeminal nerves, one on each side. Each nerve splits
into three branches which transmit sensations of pain
and touch from the face, mouth, and teeth to the
is the fifth cranial nerve and contains both sensory
and motor nerves. There are 3 branches of the
the ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular.
It supplies sensations to the face, and certain
motor functions such as biting, chewing and
Trigeminal neuralgia, damage
to this nerve, causes facial pain. Trigeminal
neuralgia develops in mid to late life. The condition
is the most frequently occurring of all the nerve pain
The pain, which comes and goes, feels like bursts of
sharp, stabbing, electric-shocks. This pain can last
from a few seconds to a few minutes.
The pain occurs almost exclusively in the
maxillary (along the cheekbone, most of your nose,
upper lip and upper teeth) and mandibular area (the
lower cheek, lower lip and jaw).
In almost all cases (97%), pain is restricted
to one side of the face.
It is sometimes called “tic
douloureux” due to the characteristic muscle spasm
that accompanies the pain.
This intermittent severe pain
interferes with common daily activities such as eating
and sleep. There is always the fear of unpredictable
painful attacks, which leads to sleep deprivation and
under eating. The condition can lead to irritability,
severe anticipatory anxiety and depression. It can
lead to life-threatening malnutrition.
Suicidal depression is not uncommon.
Doctors usually cannot find
any disease of the trigeminal nerve or central nervous
Cases in younger women are
usually linked to damage of the nervous system.
condition has no clear-cut cause.
experts argue that the syndrome is caused by traumatic
damage to the nerve as it passes from the openings in
the skull to the muscles and tissue of the face. The
damage compresses the nerve, causing the nerve cell to
shed the protective and conductive coating – called
believe the cause stems from biochemical change in the
nerve tissue itself.
believe that an abnormal blood vessel compresses the
nerve as it exits from the brain itself.
agree that an excessive burst of nervous activity from
a damaged nerve causes the painful attacks.
defining feature of trigeminal neuralgia is the
trigger zone-a small area in the central part of the
face, usually on a cheek, nose, or lip, that, when
stimulated, triggers a typical burst of pain.
light touch or vibration is the most effective
of this, many common daily activities trigger the
attacks such as washing your face, brushing your
teeth, shaving or talking.
It can be caused by wind hitting your face, or
eating and chewing.
people avoid food and drink rather than experience the
It can then lead to weight loss and
attacks, most people remain relatively pain-free. Some
people, however, experience a dull ache between
attacks, suggesting physical compression of the
affected nerve, either by a blood vessel or some other
Neuralgia often develops into
a condition called neuropathic pain. When neuralgia
becomes chronic, it can cause deterioration of the
myelin sheath that surrounds and insulates pain
Then, just like an electrical circuit with exposed
wiring, nerves that shouldn't be communicating
directly with each other cross paths and create a
feedback loop that perpetuates pain.
can be done?
Neuralgia Treatments and Natural Pain Relievers:
are many reasons that a nerve can be damaged.
It can come from compression of the nerve,
You can find a full list of the Causes
of Nerve Damage.
more information, and help with this problem, go to Neuropathy
Dr. Gorgon Ko describes
several case studies of chronic pain in the February
2010 "Clinical Journal of Pain." Five
patients with neuropathic pain experienced lasting
relief by taking high dosages of EPA and DHA. Dosages
of 2,400 to 7,200 mg a day contributed to improvements
that were maintained for as long as 19 months.
It then follows that the higher the Omega-3 (EPA &
DHA) content of the fish oil, the more it will
nutritionally support and help your body to maintain
normal nerve function.
Water Fish Oil
What can be done for relief?
We always recommend you
take the approach of building health - and nerves are
You can build healthy
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