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Four stories about Trigeminal Neuralgia and upper cervical care from the Facial Pain Foundation

Trigeminal Neuralgia is the #1 cause of facial pain, with 4 to 5 persons per 100,000 having the disease. Some authorities say that more might be suffering, but aren’t counted because of misdiagnosis.

According to the National Pain Foundation, 1.7 millions have been diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia. TN’s reputation as one of the most severe body pains makes that 1.7 million too many. In many cases TN grows to be a debilitating and chronic pain that threatens the livelihood of the one who suffers with it.

In the past TN has been called Tic douloureux, and also the suicide disease, because the suffering it causes some patients drove them to take their life. Modern medicine has improved pain management through drugs and surgical procedures, and takes credit for reducing TN’s deadly reputation.

Yet, medicines don’t always work, and the idea of a cranial surgery can be too expensive, or downright scary for many. Some choose to seek help from alternative treatments. Popular web sources like Mayo.com list some of those therapies, like acupuncture, biofeedback, and vitamin therapy.

Still, there is one glaring omission of what might help TN. Upper cervical chiropractic care.

The Facial Pain Association and Upper Cervical Chiropractic

Thankfully the Facial Pain Association is here to help. The Facial Pain Association maintains an online knowledge base which allows TN patients to share their stories of TN treatments, and how they are seeking healing from Trigeminal Neuralgia. And many of their success stories include information about upper cervical chiropractic care.

Here are a few of them.

Thank you for your newsletters including personal testimonies. These have helped me to determine what is causing my nerves to flair up.

My problems started in the early 1990′s. I have used acupuncture and upper cervical chiropractic. Both of these have helped to make the pain minimal or non-existent; however, it has come back…but nothing major.

From Sharon.

I would like to share with other TN sufferers the great results I’ve had with an alternative treatment. I was first diagnosed with TN in 1994. The first flare-up lasted for about nine months. During that time I tried Tegritol and Dilantin, both had troublesome side effects so I just didn’t use any medication. After nine months the TN went into remission. In the following ten years I would occasionally have slight flare-ups but I never had to seek medical treatment.

In Oct of 2001 and I had a terrible flare-up. I couldn’t believe it was possible to endure such intense pain. My doctor prescribed Neurontin, which worked for a while, but because I kept having pain he prescribed Trileptal as well. This combination worked but I still had occasional flare-ups and had to keep increasing my medication.

During the three years that I was suffering I tried many different alternative treatments, acupuncture, biofeedback, two different types of chiropractic to name a few. I was ready to undergo surgery and beginning to investigate my options. Then my issue of TN Alert arrived. In that issue there were reports on several different types of alternative treatments. One of them was treatment by a practitioner of National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). I was intrigued by the description of the treatment because the article said that there was no cracking of the neck or spine. The treatment is very gentle. I was able to find a NUCCA practitioner near my home and began treatment in January of 2004; by April I was pain free and had weaned myself from all my medication. It is now September and I am still pain free.

From Kathleen.

June developed TN in October, 2003, and contacted several neurologists to confirm the diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. She was told by a neurologist that she had several options: 1) take medication for the remainder of her life, 2) have surgery, or 3) try acupuncture. She opted for acupuncture. After five treatments, she did not have any relief and requested that her son, seek additional information on the Internet. In April, 2004, John obtained the phone number for Rohn Harmer from the TNA web site and subsequently contacted Rohn to discuss his mother’s TN. Rohn reviewed June’s medical history and learned that approximately 2 years before the onset of TN, June was involved in an automobile accident wherein June’s car was broad sided and spun around about 180 degrees. June had soreness of her neck during this 2-year period prior to the onset of TN.

After learning about June’s automobile accident, Rohn recommended that June see the UCC doctor, whose office was located with a few miles of June’s home. He had previously treated approximately 15 TN patients and had significant success in eliminating or significantly reducing TN pain in those patients with subluxation of the Atlas or Axis (i.e., the number one and number two cervical vertebrae, respectively). He confirmed that June had a serious subluxation and began treatments in May, 2004. After five treatments, June observed a significant lessening of the frequency and intensity of TN pain. Within the subsequent two weeks, the pain continued to decrease. As of August 30 (the date of the meeting), June was essentially free of pain, although she has continues to have minor sensations triggered by bright light.

June has not taken any pain medication throughout the entire period of diagnosis and treatment. She feels that the underlying cause was the subluxation of her vertebrae. She and her son have read the references in Striking Back, by George Weigel and Dr. Casey, regarding UCC and feel that this information has led them to the proper treatment and elimination of the underlying cause. Moreover, they feel that recommendations of their family physician and neurologist did not address the underlying cause and would have further undermined her health.

From June.

In June, I decided to go to a local Chiropractor who specialized in Upper Cervical Care. On my first visit he performed an evaluation which consisted of a bunch of tests. Normally X-Rays are done, but because I was pregnant they were not an option. The tests (peripheral vision test on a computer screen, weighing me on two scales at the same time, body balance, pictures taken with dots on shoulders and hips, measured length of legs) seemed unusual to me and I have to admit I was skeptical, but this was one of my only hopes. On my next visit he gave me the results as well as my first adjustment. After he adjusted me, he had me lay down for a little while and the pain was almost immediately reduced. My skepticism was starting to go away and I felt hope for the first time in weeks.

Today I am happy to say that I have been pain free for a little over a month without ever taking medicine and am a true believer in Upper Cervical Care for the treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia. Initially I saw the Dr. three times a week and then two. Now I see him once every two weeks. I am so grateful that this helped eliminate my pain and would suggest others to try it.

From Sandra

Do you suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia or similar facial pain and want to know if our upper cervical care can help you? Please contact us to request your consultation with the doctor.

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NUCCA Healing Stories

Check out some of our patient testimonials below!

High blood pressure improves


Just wanted to let you know how my blood pressure went down from over 145-155/85-90 down to 120/70. I had a life insurance physical shortly thereafter and the results were so outstanding that I got the Preferred Best rating.

All that for a 68 year old who has had problems with hypertension for the last 5 years. You said we could give NUCCA a try and it sure worked well for me.

Help with jaw pains and migraines


I have had migraines and jaw pain for years and they are all gone after only a few visits. I am so grateful and can’t wait to see the results my husband gets.

Off of allergy medication


I was a sickly kid and have had bad allergies my whole life. I have not had to take allergy medicine since the first correction and am thrilled. It is so great to be able to breathe again and not take medicine that I know has harmful side-effects. It is easier to get through my whole day. Thanks.

No headaches now, with deeper sleep


I used to have headaches, really bad ones, at least once a week.  I haven’t had one since I came to your office. I sleep deeper and just have a better sense of well-being. I am so glad I found out about you.

I wanted less anxiety – I got that, plus more than I bargained for


I feel great – no shoulder tightness. All I wanted was to have less anxiety and I got that…and more than I bargained for. My wife and daughter feel great after NUCCA too. Thank you, Marcy.

Better balance while dancing


I feel very square and my balance in dance class and when teaching is really improved. I told my husband and a friend that they just have to come to see you.

I was very skeptical – worth the trip


I was very skeptical about NUCCA, but tried it after a work injury. My shoulder was numb, painful and tingly before driving several hours to see Dr. Ziska. Well, the tingling and numbness are gone and I have pain much less often. It was worth the trip!

No more back pain after one visit


This is great! No more back pain just after one visit. I feel great as a result of NUCCA care.