Neuralgia is characterized by burning or stabbing type of pain. The pain is often quite severe and is felt along the path of damaged nerve.
The pain due to damaged nerve may be experienced anywhere in the body but most commonly felt in the face and neck area.
Causes for nerve damage-
Pain of neuralgia can be relieved by treating the underlying cause.
Neuralgic pain can be experienced in different body parts depending upon the underlying cause-
The pain experienced in trigeminal neuralgia is associated with the trigeminal nerve.
Trigeminal nerve is a cranial nerve that supplies scalp and face region.
The pain in trigeminal neuralgia is believed to be due to pressure on the trigeminal nerve by a blood vessel, at a region where trigeminal nerve meets the brain stem.
Pain in trigeminal neuralgia is felt in the face and usually it is unilateral.
It is most commonly seen affecting the elderly people.
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Post herpetic neuralgia occurs as a complication of shingles.
Shingles is a type of viral infection, wherein patient tends to develop painful rash and blisters.
Pain may be felt anywhere on the body.
Neuralgic pain may be felt anywhere along the path of outbreak of shingles.
Pain in post herpetic neuralgia may range from mild to severe.
Pain may be intermittent or persistent in nature and may last for months or sometimes even years.
Glossopharyngeal neuralgia arises due to damage or injury caused to the glossopharyngeal nerve.
Causes of Neuralgia
The etiology behind any type of neuralgia is nerve damage or injury.
Each nerve in the body is protected by a covering known as myelin sheath. When this protective covering of myelin sheath gets damaged or wears away from the nerve, the patient experiences severe burning or stabbing neuralgic pain.
Factors responsible for damage or injury to myelin sheath-
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that results due to the degeneration of protective myelin sheath of the nerve thereby resulting in neuralgic pain, which is most commonly felt in the face region.
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TMJD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder)
TMJD may play an important in causing nerve damage or injury thereby resulting in neuralgia.
TMJD is an Infratemporal fossa catastrophe, occurring due to inward disc (medial) displacement of the Jaw Joint or TMJ.
Malocclusion of teeth or mal-alignment of jaws or TRAUMA to the jaw joint causes the joint disc (articular disc) to get displaced medially.
This happens due to abnormal teeth grinding, which causes a tilt in the jaw joint leading to abnormal residual forces in the jaw joint.
Inside or on the inside of joint exists major structures travelling from and to the brain like nerves and blood vessels. This leads to compression of these structures.
The first nerve to be encountered, at a distance of just 0.5 cm or an ants length is the accessory nerve or the number 11 cranial nerve. The job of this nerve is to maintain the head on shoulders at the “COG” or the center of gravity.
Irritation of this nerve alters the muscle function and hence the head position, there by putting undue pressure on the different nerves supplying various body parts, thus ultimately resulting in neuralgia.
Pressure On Nerves
The protective myelin sheath covering the nerve may get worn away due to pressure.
The pressure on the nerve may result from bone, ligament, blood vessels or as a result of tumor.
The most common cause for trigeminal neuralgia is the pressure on the trigeminal nerve from a swollen blood vessel.
Diabetes (Diabetic Neuropathy)
People suffering with diabetes may experience some type of neuralgia because the excess glucose in the bloodstream tends to cause damage to the protective myelin sheath of the nerve.
Less Common Causes Of Neuralgia
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In diabetic neuralgia- Better control of blood sugar level
Medicines may be used to relieve neuropathic pain.
If the underlying cause for neuralgia is diagnosed to be TMJD, then it needs to be treated to get long term relief from neuralgic pain.
TMJD treatment needs correction of TMJ residual pressures through the dental occlusion correction.
It becomes utmost important to confirm it with the aid of various sophisticated and most advanced diagnostic technology (AVAILABLE ONLY AT Zental Tmj & Body Pain Division BODY PAIN TREATMENT CENTRE, only SUPERSPECIALIZED DENTAL clinic in INDIA and PERHAPS IN ASIA TOO), like-
Once the diagnosis is confirmed and connection between TMJD and neuralgia has been established, various treatment procedures can be done to eliminate back aches from the roots. It includes-
Nerve Blocks: Nerve blocks (like trigeminal nerve block) are injected near a particular nerve or nerve group that helps in relieving neuralgic pain.