Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia

If you have been seeking relief or improvement from Trigeminal Neuralgia and feel like you have tried everything…. acupuncture can help.

Acupuncture is an overlooked solution to many chronic illnesses. Through a focused treatment plan designed just for you, acupuncture with Dr. Don Thompson can be an excellent supplement to your ongoing primary or specialized medical care to increase your chances of recovery and relief.

Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia (also known as tic douloureux) is a chronic pain disorder which affects the face. It affects the fifth cranial nerve and causes severe, sudden and often life altering pain to the face and head. Causes of trigeminal neuralgia can include structural disorders involving nerve and blood vessels, tumors, multiple sclerosis, and facial traumas (accidents, dental procedures, surgical injuries, etc.). Trigeminal Neuralgia is twice as likely to happen in women.
Something as simple as brushing your teeth or putting on makeup can cause a flare-up.

Western medical treatments include the use of pain and other medications which can provide relief for some people for a period of time. However, some patients develop a tolerance to the medications and require larger doses to maintain relief of symptoms. Some patients may experience side effects of the medication such as dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea. Other treatments include dermal filler injections, and in advanced cases, surgical interventions which include microvascular decompression or gamma knife ablation.

How Can Acupuncture Help Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Acupuncture can help reduce the pain and frequency of episodes of trigeminal neuralgia. Many trigeminal neuralgia sufferers who have used acupuncture have been able to reduce and sometimes eliminate medications they have had to use to help control the episodes.

Dr. Don Thompson specializes in the use of acupuncture to treat trigeminal neuralgia. The number of sessions depends on the patient’s specific symptoms and how advanced their case is. Some people can start to feel some improvement in symptoms after a few treatments. It generally takes 10-15 sessions spaced out over several weeks to reach the maximum benefit from treatment, but this varies patient to patient.

Patients wishing to explore acupuncture should have had a thorough examination to rule out tumors, multiple sclerosis, and other serious medical issues. Read more in our blog post about facial pain/trigeminal neuralgia.

Schedule a consult at our Abingdon, Virginia Office by calling 276.628.3486 Join our waiting list in Winston Salem for treatment by completing the form!
Contact and Wait List

Frequently Asked Questions

My symptoms get worse when I floss or shave my face. Could acupuncture do the same thing?
Acupuncture shouldn’t worsen your symptoms. A qualified acupuncturist will discuss your triggers (like flossing or shaving) and carefully choose needle insertion points to avoid further irritation.
What are the benefits of using acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia compared to medication?
Both acupuncture and medication can be helpful for trigeminal neuralgia, but they offer different advantages. Medication can provide fast pain relief, but some medications can cause side effects like drowsiness or dizziness. Acupuncture has minimal side effects and some patients find it helps manage their pain long-term, potentially reducing reliance on medication.
How many acupuncture sessions does it take to see progress and how often should they be scheduled?
The number of sessions depends on the patient’s specific symptoms and how advanced their case is. Some people can start to feel some improvement in symptoms after a few treatments. It generally takes 10-15 sessions spaced out over several weeks to reach the maximum benefit from treatment, but this varies patient to patient.

Citations:

Acupuncture for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia: A systematic review and meta analysis; Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice v52, August 2023, 101763. https://doi.org/10/1016/jctcp.2023.101763

Acupuncture Methods for Primary Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials https://doi.org/10.1155/2022/3178154

The Relationship Between Acupoints of the Face and the Trigeminal Nerve, Medical Acupuncture 2020 Aug 1;32(4):181-193 https://doi.org/10.1089/acu.2020.1413

Potential mechanisms of acupuncture for neuropathic pain based on somatosensory system, Front Neurosci. 2022; 16:940343 https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2022.940343

Skip to content