Trigeminal Neuralgia, also known as Tic Douloureux, is a nerve disorder that causes a very intense and abrupt pain that reaches the face, in an area covered by the nerve called trigeminal, most commonly involving the lower jaw and lower area of the face. The pain symptoms may also appear near the ears, nose, lips or eyes.
The pain features of electric shock or aches and has short duration, and may last only a few seconds. Considering one of the most unbearable pain humans can experience, crises occur several times a day, and can lead to serious consequences such as depression or even to suicide.
Causes of trigeminal neuralgia
The exact cause of trigeminal neuralgia is still unknown, but there are certain factors that can trigger the beginning of the ailment. Stress and genetic trends triggering factors are most important.
Some experts argue that physical damage to the nerve caused by a surgical or dental procedure, an injury on the face or even infections can cause trigeminal neuralgia. Others believe that the cause stems from biochemical change in the nerve tissue itself.
A recent study suggests that 80-90% of the causes of trigeminal neuralgia are related to an abnormal blood vessel compression the nerve suffers as it exists from the brain itself. This pressure on the trigeminal nerve causes the pain along the nerve to the face, resulting in these paroxysms of sudden pains.
We know that the body and mind have an inseparable bond and the psyche has a role in maintaining health or cause disease.
It is very common in daily practice to hear from patients that the beginning of their trigeminal neuralgia started after the divorce, after the death of a loved one, job change, presence of unhealthy family or job relationships etc.
The stress has been identified as one of the maintainers of neuralgia, especially in chronic cases of trigeminal neuralgia. Stress can present itself in form of:
- Prolonged anxiety assigned to any cause,
- grief, depression,
- anger suppressed/emotions,
- disappointments in life,
- nervous temperament,
- failure in business, etc.
Trigeminal neuralgia episodes can sometimes be triggered by several different factors:
- exposure to cold wind or even a draft in the room,
- hot or cold food,
- cranial trauma,
- inadequate sleep,
- lead poisoning or other chemicals,
- hormonal fluctuation before and after menses
Conventional treatment of trigeminal neuralgia
The treatment is based on the use of antidepressant and anticonvulsant drugs, electrical stimulation of the nerve, and in some situations surgical treatment is indicated. However, anticonvulsants may have significant side effects like dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, fluid retention, ataxia (unsteadiness), dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headache, dermatitis and hives.
The classical homeopathic approach of trigeminal neuralgia
In classical or individualised homeopathy, homeopathic practitioners aim to identify a single homeopathic preparation that matches a patient’s general constitution.
Constitution refers to a picture composed of different information such as patients past medical history, medical history of family members, the patient’s personality, relationship with the climate, sleeping pattern, eating habits, and food preferences and aversions.
Moreover, all the details of the patient’s symptoms are noted, such as the type of pain, the local sensations, the occurrence, the circumstances that led to pain, the triggering factors etc. and the study of the emotional sphere and mind of the patient is conducted thoroughly. This means that homeopathic medicines are most effective when they are selected on the “total” characteristic set of symptoms, not just based only on local symptoms of the illness.
Due to differences in elements of patient’s constitutions, two patients with identical medical diagnosis may receive different homeopathic prescriptions. Therefore, each patient suffering from trigeminal neuralgia is evaluated individually and treated the same way. The homeopathic medicine is then administered, giving a reduction in frequency of episodes, making them less intense, and eventually taking the remission.