The trigeminal nerve is the fifth and the largest of the twelve cranial nerves. It is responsible for the sensations that we feel on the face. This nerve is somewhat similar to spinal nerves that are responsible for sensations in the rest of the body.
The trigeminal nerve has three sections
- Ophthalmic - responsible for sensations in the eyes.
- Maxillary - responsible for sensation in the jaw that is fused with the cranium.
- Mandibular – responsible for sensation in the lower jaw.
Although it is a principally a sensory nerve, the trigeminal is also responsible for some motor functions such as chewing, biting, and swallowing.
Trigeminal neuralgia is any pain disorder of the trigeminal nerve. The pain is generally excruciating and usually occurs in the face. The pain that one feels is an exaggerated version of the pain that we feel on a dentist chair while undergoing a cavity treatment. This is so because dentists inject pain medication into a branch of the trigeminal nerve in the process. Trigeminal neuralgia can also cause intense, but luckily short-lived, headaches.
Trigeminal neuralgia can be caused by the compression of the trigeminal nerve. In most cases, the compression occurs due to aging, trauma, or some other external reasons. It can be triggered by a genetic tendency, and in some rare cases can appear due to the hardening of tissues or the presence of a tumor.
Trigeminal neuralgia is similar to sciatica since both are caused by the compression of a nerve in most cases. And therefore, the conventional medication that is administered for sciatic nerve treatment works well for temporary pain relief in trigeminal neuralgia as well.
Conventional medication for trigeminal neuralgia often involves drugs like Carbamazepine that have serious side effects. Other treatments like surgical treatment, micro -vascular decompression, and Gamma Knife (highly focused and high density radiation) are effective but are temporary in nature. In some cases, the disorder can return with greater intensity and more pain.
Some sciatica alternative remedies have proven to be quite effective in treating trigeminal neuralgia. Homoeopathic remedies are holistic in nature and attempt to treat the ailment. It is not limited to suppressing symptoms and adopts a more individualistic and customized approach. Ayurvedic massages that use herbal oils are also used for trigeminal neuralgia treatment. These alternative remedies are free from any side effects and therefore can be adopted without any hesitation. The only aspect that one needs to keep in mind is that to be able to see results, the guidance of a trained practitioner or an expert is essential.