Question

Neuralgia

Can acupuncture help treat trigeminal neuralgia?

A Answers (3)

  • ANeil Martin, MD, Neurosurgery, answered on behalf of UCLA Health
    We don't have a lot of good data on the short- and long-term results of acupuncture treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. In some patients, acupuncture seems to be unusually effective for a variety of pain syndromes. I don’t think it hurts to try acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia. We just don’t know in which particular patient it might be particularly effective at this point. It’s highly unlikely that it’s going to cause any additional problem. The one problem with acupuncture, if it involves any of the areas where the pain is located, is that it may actually trigger an episode. Great care has to be taken to avoid any trigger zones on the skin or the face on the side of the trigeminal neuralgia.
  • Currently, there is insufficient available evidence to recommend either for or against acupuncture in primary trigeminal neuralgia.

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  • AMaoshing Ni, PhD, LAc, Gerontology, answered
    Acupuncture is effective for trigeminal neuralgia. Trigeminal neuralgia is a swelling of one of the trigeminal nerves often due to exterior invasion of wind and cold. Depending on where the pain is localized and which trigeminal nerves are inflamed, a licensed acupuncturist will be able to prescribe an appropriate treatment protocol. Usually four to six treatments can clear a mild condition.
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