Chiropr J | Aust Mar 2005; 35(1): 9-15
Abstract: Trigeminal neuralgia, sometimes called tic dolorous, is characterized by episodes of electric shock-like pain in areas of the face where branches of the trigeminal nerve are distributed. Medical treatment includes pharmaceuticals, analgesics, surgery, radiosurgery, low-powered laser, TENS, acupuncture and biofeedback. Manipulative approaches have been used successfully in a medical center in China, and reports of successful treatment with chiropractic techniques have been published. The patient in this report had a history of right-sided facial pain, diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia, over a 6-year period with remissions after dental or medical treatment and exacerbations, the most recent of 2 months duration. Prior to cranial and other chiropractic adjustments, the patient had continuous pain that she rated at 9.5 on the visual analogue scale, and after 4 consultations over an 11-day period, pain had reduced to 0.5. Spinal and cranial adjusting potentially affects a wide range of causes of trigeminal neuralgia and offers a conservative, low-cost, low technology initial approach which, if ineffective, will not greatly delay or inhibit other treatment. Occasional maintenance care may be required in some instances to reduce recurrences.