New Study Shows Acupuncture Increases Treatment Effectiveness for Trigeminal Neuralgia
Chronic pain is a problem that 1.5 million people around the world deal with on a daily basis. While there are numerous chronic pain conditions, trigeminal neuralgia is one of the worst. Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) affects the trigeminal nerve, causing severe facial pain in affected individuals.
According to a new study from the Affiliated Huzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of the Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, acupuncture can help increase the efficacy of drug therapy for TN.
Acupuncture and TN
The researchers found that when acupuncture is combined with carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant and analgesic benzodiazepine drug, the drug therapy is 20% more effective. By itself, carbamazepine monotherapy showed a 70% effectiveness rate, but when acupuncture was added, the effectiveness rate increase to 90.3%.
There were a total of 61 patients with TN who were treated for the study. In one group, 31 of the patients also received acupuncture, while the other group of 30 received only the drug therapy. The results found that those with the added acupuncture experienced significantly less pain than with just the drug trigeminal neuralgia treatments.
This study shows that when combining several different trigeminal neuralgia treatment options, patients can alleviate their pain significantly.
Other Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatments
One of the most commonly used treatments for nerve pain is using opioids. Unfortunately, using opioids can have dire side effects, including the possibility of addiction. And while acupuncture has shown to be effective in increasing the efficacy of drug therapy, ultrasound therapy can provide pain relief with no drugs.
When ultrasound therapy is used, the ultrasound waves provide relief directly to the root of the trigeminal nerve. This treatment option can not only provide pain relief, but can actually promote healing to the damaged nerve. Instead of relying on increasing opioid dosages, patients can experience long-term relief after using ultrasound therapy.
Overall, there is a wide variety of options for treating trigeminal neuralgia pain. From drug therapy to acupuncture to ultrasound waves, patients have the opportunity to try new pain relief options and find what works best for them. If you suffer from trigeminal neuralgia, talk to your doctor to see if ultrasound therapy may be right for you.