Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia is a condition that causes severe facial pain due to a disorder with the 5th cranial nerve, the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is primarily a sensory nerve that provides sensation to the face and other parts of the head. It also provides motor innervation to the muscles of mastication (chewing).
The most common type of Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia is characterized by bursts of sharp or burning pain along one or more of the branches of the nerve. Pain often occurs during active movements, such as chewing. Because the nerve also innervates the salivary glands, some patients will also experience dry mouth with the condition.
A less common type of TNN is characterized by constant pain that is of lesser intensity.
The maxillary and mandibular branches of the trigeminal nerve are more often affected. In some cases, the condition can cause partial deafness. The symptoms are usually on one side of the face, but in rare instances can affect the face bilaterally.
Medical Massage can be helpful to patients with Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia by reducing the intensity of the symptoms. This can greatly improve one’s quality of life when dealing with such pain. In the acute stage of the condition, Manual Lymphatic Drainage is the primary modality used in order to assist in the recovery of the nerve. In the residual stage, when symptoms have started to decrease, a combination of Therapeutic Massage and Vibration Massage is used. Treatment requires a series of sessions in order to be effective as a supportive therapy for this condition.