Trigeminal Neuralgia is a severe pain syndrome that produces pain along the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve has three branches. These three branches control many different functions and locations of the face. Because of this, many who suffer feel electric pain in their cheek, teeth, and TMJ region. In some cases, the pain is so severe that sudden attacks can bring the patient to their knees. It is a debilitating condition that is disruptive to every aspect of one’s life.
In this article, we would like to talk about biomechanical considerations as an underlying cause of nervous system dysfunction and trigeminal neuralgia. Our blogging efforts have always been about spreading new ideas that are not commonly talked about in MAINSTREAM health circles. Oftentimes in order to get well, one has to take the road less traveled.
Biomechanical Changes that Influence Central Nervous System Function – an Underlying Mechanism for Trigeminal Neuralgia
What is upper cervical health care and how does it relate to trigeminal neuralgia? The Upper Cervical Spine is the most important area of human anatomy. The brain stem and associated cranial nerves are the seats of control not only for the trigeminal nerve but for most of the functions in the body. The Upper cervical spine is the weakest structural area of the spine. The head weighs on average 12 pounds and sits on the atlas that weighs 2 ounces. This biomechanical relationship makes this area of the spine prone to injury. When someone suffers a whiplash trauma, even minor ones, the head and neck relationship can misalign. The ligaments that support the head and neck develop micro-tears, causing the atlas to misalign. As a result, this starts an abnormal chain reaction throughout the nervous system.
Several theories exist explaining how an upper neck injury can cause neurological problems throughout the body. We have linked in articles that explain what each of these are as well as how they can cause abnormal nervous system function.
1. Dentate Cord Hypothesis
2. Trauma induced Chiari and tethering of spinal cord
How Does All of This Relate to Trigeminal Neuralgia?
How can an Upper Cervical misalignment cause TN? When the upper neck is injured, the spinal cord is irritated, the cervical spine musculature tightens, and the cervical curve is lost. Reduction of normal neck curve puts tensile stress on the spinal cord. This is called “tethering.” Tethering of the cord causes the muscles in the neck and head to be spastic. When the muscles of chewing and other muscles in close proximity to the Trigeminal nerve become tight, they can put tension on the trigeminal nerve. This irritation, which is secondary to the tethering of the cord and third to the atlas misalignment, can replicate symptoms of TN.
Prior to undergoing the knife, ALL TN patients should be checked for Upper Cervical Misalignment by an Upper Cervical Doctor.
In conclusion, remember that true healing happens from the inside out. It is the result of doing something that helps the body function better. Nature needs no help, it just needs no interference. Until next time, be well.
Schedule a consultation with Upper Cervical Chiropractor Dr. Frederick Schurger