A rare but severe disorder, trigeminal neuralgia results in intense facial pain. Though this condition can only be treated surgically, there are certain home remedies, which can reduce the pain considerably and bring relief to the patient. Let us find out about them through this article.
Trigeminal neuralgia affects the trigeminal nerve, also referred to as the fifth cranial nerve. This nerve is responsible for transmitting sensations from the face to the brain. People affected by trigeminal neuralgia can experience pain in any part of the face and sometimes, even the ears. Patients report the feeling of debilitating pain intermittently, which can last from few seconds to several minutes. The pain is described to be so acute that even a whiff of air against the face or a very gentle touch can set off painful sensations that feel like a jolt of electricity. Actions like talking, chewing, brushing teeth and shaving can invoke an episode and worsen the condition.
Trigeminal neuralgia is often misdiagnosed as temporomandibular joint disorder because of lingering facial pain. It is crucial to start treatment as soon as the disease is diagnosed. Treatment usually begins with medications. There are certain natural remedies that can work towards easing the pain, though they do not completely do away with the disease. Some such treatments are discussed below in further detail.
Certain herbal mixtures when applied to the skin are supposed to soothe the nerve pain.
✔ One such medication is Shao Yao Gan Cao Tang, used in traditional Chinese medicine. This is a mixture of peony and licorice, and when taken orally can provide relief from spasmodic pains.
✔ Capsaicin, the compound that imparts hotness to cayenne peppers and jalapeños, has an analgesic effect. Topical ointments containing capsaicin can be applied to the affected area for respite from constant pain.
✔ Meadowsweet, kava kava, valerian, and passionflower are some herbs, which possess anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, and are said to be effective in treating nerve pain, and can thus, be used in reducing the pain associated with trigeminal neuralgia. Herbal ointments and essential oils of peppermint, evening primrose, and verbena are also used to soothe pain.
✔ Sipping on herbal teas is also said to have a calming effect on frayed nerves. Chamomile, comfrey, St. John’s wort, and lemon balm teas can bring relief from painful episodes.
Soaking or bathing the affected area with hot water to which Epsom salts have been added brings relief from pain, and relaxes tense nerves.
Nutrition and Vitamins
Along with nutrition, it is essential that your body receives a daily dose of multivitamins, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B and magnesium. These are required to strengthen the cranial nerves, including the trigeminal nerve, which can prove helpful in managing pain and stress.
Build a strong rapport with your doctor/neurosurgeon. Do not hold back any information from him/her. Your doctor is the best person to help you in a medical crisis. If you are taking any prescription medication, continue to do so without fail and do not skip a dose or take an overdose. At all times, keep your doctor’s numbers handy. You can also find out from your health care provider about support groups for trigeminal neuralgia in your area. Joining a support group will help you in many ways. You can relate to people who undergo the same suffering as you, in a much better way. You may even come across some very useful medical information from them. If not a support group, establish strong connections with friends and family members, so you have help and can depend on them in times of need.
Trigeminal neuralgia, as many sufferers call it, is also referred to as the Suicide Disease. The pain is excruciating, and the fear of an oncoming attack may interfere with your daily activities. In such cases, it becomes very difficult for patients to follow a normal lifestyle. If the patient is experiencing unbearable pain and not responding well to medications, then doctors consider surgery for trigeminal neuralgia as an alternative. The aforementioned remedies can certainly come in handy and prove effective for pain management. But for maximum effect, they should be used only after consulting a professional, and along with the doctor’s prescribed medications. When used in conjunction with medicines, these treatments can go a long way in improving the quality of life.
Disclaimer: The content provided in this article is for informative purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a health care professional. Please seek advice from your doctor with regard to your condition.