NEURALGIA

Neuralgia means a pain originating in a nerve. It can apply to any †part of the peripheral nervous system (for example, sciatica, which is pain†originating in the sciatic nerve, is a† form of Neuralgia) but the word is most commonly used to mean facial neuralgia. The pain from this can be very intense, and orthodox medicine sometimes employs drastic measures, such as severing the affected nerve, to give relief.

Atypical trigeminal neuralgia (ATN) is a rare form of neuralgia and may also be the most misdiagnosed form. The symptoms can be mistaken for migraines, dental problems such as temporomandibular joint disorder, musculoskeletal issues, and hypochondriasis. ATN can have a wide range of symptoms and the pain can fluctuate in intensity from mild aching to a crushing or burning sensation, and also to the extreme pain experienced with the more common trigeminal neuralgia. ATN pain can be described as heavy, aching, and burning. Sufferers have a constant migraine-like headache and experience pain in all three trigeminal nerve branches. This includes aching teeth, ear aches, feeling of fullness in sinuses, cheek pain, pain in forehead and temples, jaw pain, pain around eyes, and occasional electric shock-like stabs. Unlike typical neuralgia, this form can also cause pain in the back of the scalp and neck. Pain tends to worsen with talking, facial expressions, chewing, and certain sensations such as a cool breeze. Vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve, infections of the teeth or sinuses, physical trauma, or past viral infections are possible causes of ATN.

In the case of trigeminal neuralgia the affected nerves are responsible for sensing touch, temperature sensation and pressure sensation in the facial area from the jaw to the forehead. The disorder generally causes short episodes of excruciating pain, usually for less than two minutes and usually only one side of the face. The pain can be described in a variety of ways such as "stabbing", "sharp", "like lightning", "burning", and even "itchy". In the atypical form of TN, the pain presents itself as severe constant aching along the nerve. The pain associated with TN is recognized as one of the most excruciating pains that can be experienced.[2] Simple stimuliósuch as eating, talking, making facial expressions, washing the face, or any light touch or sensationócan trigger an attack (even the sensation of a cool breeze). Attacks may be lone occurrences, clusters of attacks, or constant episodes. Some patients experience muscle spasm, which led to the original term for TN of "tic douloureux" ("tic", meaning "spasm", and "douloureux", meaning "painful", in French).

Glossopharyngeal neuralgia consists of recurring attacks of severe pain in the back of the throat, the area near the tonsils, the back of the tongue, and part of the ear. The pain is due to malfunction of the glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX), which moves the muscles of the throat and carries information from the throat, tonsils, and tongue to the brain. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia, a rare disorder, usually begins after age 40 and occurs more often in men. Often, its cause is unknown. However, glossopharyngeal neuralgia sometimes results from an abnormally positioned artery that compresses the glossopharyngeal nerve near where it exits the brain stem. Rarely, the cause is a tumor in the brain or neck

Powerfully analgesic (i.e. pain-killing) essential oils offer a better alternative, and the most effective way of using them is in hot compresses over the affected part of the body. Camomile, Clary Sage, Lavender, Marjoram and Rosemary are the most effective, and can be alternated or blended with each other to give the maximum pain relief.

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