A Brief Overview of Trigeminal Neuralgia
One of the most painful conditions known in the medical field is trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Each year, about 12 per 100,000 people are affected by trigeminal neuralgia, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. While it commonly occurs in people over 50, it can impact anyone at any age. This condition can cause sporadic, severe facial pain due to injury or damage to the trigeminal, the fifth cranial nerve. Despite this condition being relatively common, not many people are aware of its existence. So what should you know about TN?
What Causes Trigeminal Neuralgia?
Unfortunately, there is not just one known cause of TN. Generally, this condition is caused when a blood vessel puts pressure on the trigeminal nerve, which, in turn, wears away the protective coating surrounding the nerve. Without this protective coating, the nerve is exposed and extremely sensitive. This is why people with TN can have a pain attack caused by even the slightest touch to their face. Because of this sensitivity, many people with TN try to avoid or have to be very careful with certain activities, like brushing their teeth or talking.
Diagnosing TN can be difficult because there is a wide variety of conditions that are associated with extreme facial pain. However, a correct diagnosis is important before starting any type of treatment. While this condition can be debilitating, there are several treatment options for patients.
How Can Ultrasound Therapy Provide Relief from Pain?
While medication and surgery are commonly used to treat TN, both of these treatment options can have adverse side effects. This is why more and more people with TN are turning to ultrasound therapy. Ultrasound therapy uses specific frequencies of ultrasound to heal the targeted area. When the ultrasound waves are focused on the damages trigeminal nerve, the waves can destroy the pain fibers and can begin to help the nerve heal. This method of treatment is noninvasive, which means it can have fewer risks than certain surgical procedures. Additionally, this treatment can be repeated as necessary and avoid damaging surrounding nerves due to the ability to focus the waves on a specific area. Overall, ultrasound therapy is a painless and effective treatment option for trigeminal neuralgia.
Trigeminal neuralgia is a very serious, very painful condition. But with a quick diagnosis and the right treatment method, people who suffer from TN can experience pain relief.