The patient who is 68-year-old Gemany woman visited her friend in Ireland and came to Chinese Medical Centre clinic in Nenagh for a help of acupuncture on 7th June 2011. She complained that she had suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia for 4 years. A sharp pain come from her forehead to her face on the left side when she touched this area such as shower, wash face, hair brush so on. She felt very uncomfortable. She had taken the tablet "Carbamazepine" for 4 years, She started to take this medication 3 tablets per day, then reduced the amount slowly to half tablet per day and keep it for 1 year. the sharp pain can be dispeared. but the pain came back and she took 3 tablets per day again half year ago. Now she sought for a help to stop the medication.
She received 12 sessions acupuncture and finished it on 4th July 2011. During nearly one month of treatment, the medication had been reduced none, and the pain didn't come back. She sent a box of chocolate and a card to the Clinic on 9th Agu 2011, and wrote on it:" Hello, Dr Jane, For a month I'm at home and I'm very happy because I do not need any more pills. Thank you so much for your succesful treatment. I enjoy each day without pain! "
Trigeminal neuralgia is the most common facial pain syndrome and is often described as "the most terrible pain known to man". Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by a sudden (paroxysmal) attack of facial pain described as intense, sharp, like an electric-shock, or stabbing. The pain is most commonly felt in the cheekbone, most of the nose, upper lip and upper teeth and, in some people, it also extends to the lower lip, teeth, and chin. Pain is usually felt on one side of the face (unilateral) and lasts from a few seconds to two minutes. pain is often brought on by touching the face, eating, drinking, or talking. The disorder usually occurs over age 50.
The trigeminal nerve has three branches.
- The ophthalmic branch runs through the eye, forehead and nose.
- The maxillary branch runs through the upper teeth, gums, lips, cheek, lower eyelid and side of the nose.
- The mandibular branch runs through the lower teeth, gums and lip. It also controls jaw movement for mastication or chewing.