A study published on November 6, 2014, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a patient with trigeminal neuralgia being helped by chiropractic care. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also called tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head.” They further explain that, “The typical or classic form of the disorder causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode.”
The authors of the study reported that the pain associated with TN is commonly triggered by activities of daily living including shaving, washing the face, applying makeup, brushing teeth, chewing food, drinking, talking, or being exposed to different elements of weather, in particular wind. Due to the severity of the pain and the uncertainty of when it might occur, this problem has been known as “The Suicide Disease.”
In this case, a 77-year-old woman went to the chiropractor and reported suffering with severe TN for the past seven years. She was taking medication to try and help the problem, but the pain was made worse by chewing, talking, and smiling. When her TN was flaring, she was unable to eat or talk well. She entered the chiropractor’s office crying in agony. She rated the pain as a 10 out of 10 in severity.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, range of motion, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination revealed that the woman had subluxations specifically in the top of her neck. Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun at the rate of three visits per week.
The study results recorded that after just three visits, the patient reported that the twitches related to her TN had stopped and she started to recover quicker from her attacks. After six visits, the woman reported that her pain had decreased from a 10 out of 10, down to just 3 out of 10. As her care continued, she continued to improve to the point where she no longer needed her medication. After 6 months of chiropractic care with 31 visits, the woman declared that she was 100% pain free.
In their conclusion the authors reported, “The patient continues to be pain free at the time this paper was published. She reports that her quality of life continues to improve and admittedly, chiropractic drastically improved her health.”