trigeminal neuropathy

Can anyone out there really tell me the difference between neuropathy and neuralgia and some of the causes and is there any way to prove the cause. Really I need to find someone who really knows what this diease is about and what I can do to get back to my normal life. I have been to to many doctor and specials who all start out with the same first word, everything points to your surgery as being the cause but there is no way to prove it. I am past the point of trying to prove the cause I know the cause was the surgery because the minute I came out it is the first thing I complained about. I just want to get better or at least have a way of managing the pain or the attacks.

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The Facial Pain Association web site addresses many of your questions. The link to this site is as follows:

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I underdstand your frustration. I have been messed up for 5 years now from a simple root canal. They say I had a prexisting condition but I know the root canal caused the whole thing. I didn't post a journal yet, but I am going to. I have been diagnosed with everything including neuralgia, but now I am being treated for trigeminal neuropathy. I just can't understand what,why and how this happened. I know I was fine before the root canal. I never had any pain or infection, just a tooth that was sensitive to cold! I wish the medical community can make the public aware to the dangers of surgery, even simple ones and PUT A STOP TO UNECESSARY ONES. Good luck to you. I havn't found a cure yet. Maybe some cases the pain can disappear. Mine never did. You have to learn how to cope.

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I have had Trigeminal Neuropathy since 2002. Although I can not tell you the difference between Trigeminal Neuropathy and Trigeminal Neuralga, in my case I had a neuroligist tell me that I should never let anyone say that I had neuralgia. He said I have Neuropathy and that is that. I can not remember why he told me that , my memory is not what it was. I also have tried to find the cause, but no doctor can say for sure. I had jaw reduction surgery 28 years ago and I had a root canal in 2001. All my life I have had trouble with sinus infections and alergies, which could have caused the problem.

When the pain hit I was in extreme pain and had to go to the ER. Where they gave me pain meds until the pain was down to a 5 on the pain scale. I was lucky that I was given enough precription pain killers to get me until a diagnosis. Then I used Fentanol patches and now I use morphine. I am on long term disability and social security. To help control your pain I think finding a Pain Management doctor is a must. I also go to a Chronic Pain support group once a week. The group is made up of all different kinds of chronic pain sufferers, and it is good to see how others deal with their pain, and learn pain control techniques. I wish I could say a certain thing caused the pain, I might be able to get the V.A. to give me 100% disability.

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Trigeminal neuropathic pain is pain in the nerve caused by unintentional injury, such as facial trauma, dental causes, or a side effect from stroke or diabetes. The pain can occur anywhere from the forehead to the chin, is usually continuous and burning in nature. It is associated with a sensory disturbance, such as numbness or a pins and needles feeling.

Trigeminal neuralgia is pain in the nerve due to a blood vessel compression on the root of the nerve where it exits the brainstem. The pain is typically on one side of the face, electric or shock like in nature, and usually affects the cheek, upper and lower jaws or teeth.

Atypical facial pain is a diagnosis of exclusion. It is used to describe pain of unknown origin. Most people with atypical facial pain have pain which is dull, aching or rushing in nature. It can be bilateral and sometimes extends outside of the trigeminal nerve territory, such as in the back of the head or in the neck and shoulder. Doctors still sometimes attribute this pain to psychogenic causes. Although people with facial pain can have depression, it is now known this pain is not of psychogenic origin.

I highly recommend anyone who is reading this post purchase "Striking Back!". It has a wealth of information for facial pain sufferers.

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Your timing seems to coincide with your root canal. I mentioned some info on one of the Trigeminal Neuralgia sites, maybe it was NeverTheSame's. The bottom line, according to Dr. Larry Lytle (a neuro-muscular dentist, who is also a naturopath and has done a lot with lasers) in his Healing Light Seminar (available on DVD), is that many of the pain syndromes in the area you are talking about are triggered by tooth and root canal problems where a residual infection remains in the part of the root that they can not normally get to using the normal technology most dentists use. To make the problem even harder to understand, the problem can remain even if the tooth is extracted, since the infection can remain in the nearby bone area. Dr. Lytle says that pretty well the only way to neutralize the infection in those areas is buy using a healing type laser over the area for a few minutes, pointed at the specific problem area. Usually an 808 nm laser is used, ususally something like a 300 mw class 3 laser. Time will depend on how focussed the laser is - if the beam is pretty focussed, it should only take a couple minutes or so per infection point. If it is less focussed, it may take a bit longer.

Going hand in hand with this, something that most dentists don't undertand, and very few doctors do, is that this type of pain can also be associated with dental distress syndrome, a situation where the jaw joint and alignment of the teeth affect and aggravate the nervous system. Dr. Lytle also has some good information on this. A quck way to tell if this is a factor is to check the point, below the back of the jaw, where the indentation is, an inch and a half or so below the jaw. If this point is tender, there is a problem in the jaw joint area, something where working on the body's proprioception should help reduce the overall pain in the area. On a short term basis proper use of a laser, or a scenar, can for a short term help relax the muscles in the area. A type of dental splint that goes over the back teeth, keeping pressure off the front teeth, can also often help. Even without a laser or scenar, a quick test for this is to get some short pieces of popcicle sticks, about 1/3 ir 1/4 of a stick in length, and put in between the back teeth. Then massage the jaw joint and the muscles connecting with it (to help relax the muscles). With most people who have this problem, it will help lessen the intensity of the pain in this area, and the tenderness of the point under the jaw will decrease somewhat, especially if left in place for a while. I posted a couple links to info on proprioception on one of the sites - just type in proprioception in the search box (Find It) at the top of the page here.

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I had jaw reduction surgery in 1981, but my pain did not start until 2002. In the surgery, they cut the jaw on both sides moved the jaw backwards and set it so my bite would be perfect (before my bottom teeth were in front of my top teeth) and I had no complications. My doctors believe my atypical trigeminal Neuropathy pain is a result of chronic sinusitus (although they are not sure). I have been scaned, probed, injected, etc with no definitive cause found. I live at about a 7 or 8 on the pain scale and with pain meds and pain control techniques I am able to function to a certain degree. My arts and crafts have really helped as well as a series of sessions with a pain control specialist. At this point I know what to expect from my facial pain, and this is where it stands for now, until some other possible solutions present themselves.

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As mentioned before, if I were to hazard a guess, I would guess your problem is directly connected with your root canal. Your other situation there may have set the stage for it, but from the timing, and some of Dr. Lytle's comments about how root canals can cause that type of pain, I suspect some type of buried infection at nerve root level, combined possibly with some type of jaw balancing which can affect the nerve system in the area, would be worth looking into.

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I have trigeminal neuropathy, not neuralgia and the pain is constant and increases during the day; So far I have been takin gabapentin on low doses as it puts me to sleep and acupuncture twice a week and it is very helpful in reducing the pain. Usually neuropathy cannot be helped by surgery such as MVD or Gamma knife whereas tri...neurlagia can be helped. I live with the pain every day and hang in there and know there are others like you. Best from Sophie

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