Neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve - symptoms, treatment
The chronic disease that affects the trigeminal nerve and is manifested by severe pain of paroxysmal nature, spreading along the innervation of the branches of the trigeminal nerve, is classified in medicine as trigeminal neuralgia.The second name of this pathology is trigeminal neuralgia.
Various factors may be the cause of the appearance of characteristic signs of neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve.In , the races distinguish several basic:
- abnormal arrangement of cerebral vessels - the trigeminal nerve is squeezed;
- aneurysm of vessels located in the cavity of the cranium;
- strong exposure to cold on the face - hypothermia;
- infectious diseases of a chronic course in the face area - for example, sinusitis, sinusitis and so on;
- tumors of benign or malignant nature of the brain.
Symptoms of neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve
According to statistics, this disease is more often diagnosed in patients over the age of 40, doctors note that the majority of patients are representatives of the fair sex.Symptoms of neuralgia are pronounced and the specialist only on the complaints of the patient can make a diagnosis.
The main sign of the disease in question is pain.She has a character sharp, shooting, sometimes unbearable.The pain is usually localized on one side of the face, although there are cases of general damage, but they are extremely rare.The attack of the painful syndrome always begins suddenly, lasts 10-15 seconds( very rarely - 2 minutes), the patients often compare the nature of the pain with getting an electric shock.It is noted that specifically at the time of an attack a person may begin to have salivation and lacrimation - these processes are uncontrollable at the time of the pain syndrome.
Please note: for several years the nature of the pain and its localization remain unchanged, and seizures never occur at night.
Patients with a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia can also select certain trigger zones - even a slight irritation can lead to another attack of pain.But often a painful attack begins when yawning, chewing or talking - this is called triggers in medicine, that is, those situations that can trigger an attack.
The peak moment of an attack is characterized by an arbitrary twitching of mimic or chewing muscles, the patient at this moment does not cry, does not talk and tries to stay in a fixed position.
Naturally, with this diagnosis, a person tries to prevent every new attack of pain, so even chews the food with a healthy side.That is why the doctor, when examining a patient who has had trigeminal neuralgia for several years, detects muscular densities on the sore side of his mouth.Prolonged course of the disease can lead to dystrophy of the masticatory muscles and a decrease in the sensitivity of the skin on the affected part of the face.
Treatment of trigeminal neuralgia
The main goal of the treatment is to relieve the patient of the pain syndrome.Doctors can offer several methods for treating trigeminal neuralgia, and which of them will suit a particular patient is solved in a strictly individual order.
Carbamazepine is the main drug used in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.As a rule, after 2-3 days patients begin to note the anesthetic effect of carbamazepine, which lasts for 3-4 hours.
The dosage of this medication is determined on an individual basis by the attending physician.This dose, at which the patient can easily chew and talk, should remain unchanged for 30 days, and then it should be reduced.The length of the course of treatment with carbamazepine is also determined individually, but it is commonly believed that stopping the medication is necessary in the event that the absence of bouts of pain is noted for 6 months already.
It is very important during the therapeutic course to prescribe vitamins to the patient, especially vitamins of group B are especially important. At the time of exacerbation of trigeminal neuralgia they are injected, often combined with ascorbic acid.By the way, vitamin therapy can become an excellent preventive measure in the moments of remission.
Often physicians prescribe patients physiotherapy procedures - they can really reduce the manifestations of a pain attack. The most effective physiotherapeutic procedures include:
- dynamic currents;
- hydrophoretic hydrophoresis;
- galvanization with novocaine or amidopyrine.
In most cases( namely, 30%), drug therapy does not have any effect - doctors can offer to perform surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.There are several methods of conducting an operation and only the attending physician can make a choice in favor of a specific one.
If possible, then on an outpatient basis, a transdermal operation is performed - with the help of specific chemicals or radio waves, the trigeminal nerve is destroyed.The method is completely safe, there is no recovery period after such surgical treatment, but the patient can improve his health not earlier than a few months( up to six months).
If the cause of neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve is the compression of the vessels in the cranium, the patient is placed in the hospital - the surgeons will perform an operative intervention for the decompression of the nerve, the correction of the position of the vessels.
But the most effective method of treating trigeminal neuralgia is to date the destruction of the spine of the trigeminal nerve.The safety of this treatment lies in the fact that physicians can control both the size of the nerve fracture zone and the time of exposure to radio-frequency waves during the procedure.Such treatment is carried out under local anesthesia, no blood loss and complications are predicted, and the rehabilitation period takes no more than 2-3 hours.
Traditional medicine can also offer several recipes that relieve an attack of pain and help prevent future manifestations of the disease in question.But the fact is that they do not give a full effect and sooner or later patients will still seek medical help.
Neuralgia of the trigeminal nerve is a disease that causes discomfort to the patient, deprives him of the usual rhythm of life and makes him consult a doctor.And the sooner this is done, the more effective the treatment will be.
Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category.