Acupuncture for Trigeminal Nerve Pain

Hello Calgary Acupuncture Enthusiasts!

Today we are talking about acupuncture for the treatment of trigeminal neraulgia.Trigeminal neuralgia is a severe facial pain disorder following the distribution of cranial nerve V. The pain is often one sided, stabbing, spasming, and excruciating in intensity. The condition is made worse by such things as talking, chewing, cold or hot drinks, touch, cold air, and even brushing your teeth.

calgary acupunctureDid you know that acupuncture is an effective form of treatment for many types of nerve pain, including trigeminal nerve pain? For many people who experience chronic nerve pain, the prognosis given by their medical doctors is poor and only a small number of medications are effective in relieving that pain. Also, these medications have a number of serious side effects that most people would rather avoid. The good news is, acupuncture is effective in relieving many different types of nerve pain and, depending on the case, can offer long lasting and sometimes permanent relief. At worst acupuncture will have no effect and very rarely could cause a temporary increase in pain. Another benefit of acupuncture for nerve pain is that it can improve some of the side effects from the medications the patient may be on already.

A recent investigation finds acupuncture effective in eliminating trigeminal neuralgia symptoms with both a high cure rate and total effective rate. Researchers conducted a controlled experiment comparing the efficaciousness of carbamazepine with acupuncture. Carbamazepine is an FDA approved anticonvulsant drug used for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and is also used for controlling seizures in epileptic patients and mania in bipolar patients. A total of 22 out of 40 patients in the carbamazepine group fully recovered. A total of 30 out of 40 patients fully recovered in the acupuncture group. This yields a 55% cure rate for carbamazepine and 70% for acupuncture.

Based on their findings, the researchers suggest implementing a treatment protocol for patients with trigeminal neuralgia wherein both pharmaceutical medications and acupuncture are used together as complementary therapies. They suggest that this may produce even greater results than using either modality as a standalone therapy. Continuing research is needed to determine if an additive or synergistic effect can be achieved by combining drugs with TCM procedures for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. In a meta-analysis, another group of researchers had found that in one quarter of the studies they examined acupuncture had a superior effect over carbamazepine, and in the other three quarters it had an equal effect as carbamazepine. Other studies also show predominantly successful treatment outcomes for patients receiving acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia.

Do you suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia and are looking for relief and possibly a long-term solution to your chronic pain? Book your acupuncture appointment in Calgary today.


Chen Kepeng, Tian Long, Clinical discussion on treating primary trigeminal neuralgia, Clinical Journal of Chinese Medicine, 2015 (13).

Xia Caiqiu, Xun Xuelian, Liu Shuang, Wang Chunbo, Liu Mingliang, , Discussion on primary trigeminal neuralgia treatments, Chinese Journal of Modern Drug Application, 2010 (4).

Hüseyin Sert, Burhanettin Usta, Bünyamin Muslu, and Muhammet Gözdemir, Successful Treatment of a Resistance Trigeminal Neuralgia Patient By Acupuncture. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009 Dec; 64(12): 1225–1226.

Liu H1, Li H, Xu M, Chung KF, Zhang SP. A systematic review on acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia. Altern Ther Health Med. 2010 Nov-Dec;16(6):30-5.

Beppu S1, Sato Y, Amemiya Y, Tode I. Practical application of meridian acupuncture treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. Anesth Pain Control Dent. 1992 Spring;1(2):103-8.

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