Neuralgias are disorders of the cranial nerves which result in intensely painful episodes for those affected. Neuralgias are associated with all of the cranial nerves: trigeminal neuralgia in the facial area, glossopharyngeal neuralgia in the throat, occipital neuralgia in the rear and side of the head, geniculate neuralgia in the ear, vegal neuralgia in the jaw, etc. Shingles, or post-herpetic neuralgia, can occur lower on the body (the ribcage, for instance), and is also accompanied by intense pain. This condition has led to the suggestion that the cranial neuralgias might be associated with herpes simplex infections of the nerves. Neuralgias are extremely painful; trigeminal neuralgia (tic doloroux) is thought to be the most painful condition known. Fortunately, there are avenues of treatment available. The most common drug treatment is carbamazepine (tegretol). Neurontin is also used. In cases where this does not work, and breakthrough pain cannot be controlled, microsurgery can be performed. Nerve blocks may be administered, microdecompression, or even neurotomy. There are alternative medicine treatments as well, including lidocaine and vitamin B-12. There are several support groups for sufferers of the various neuralgias. The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association maintains a network of support groups around the world.
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eMedicine Health - Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain)
Consumer health resource center providing information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of this disorder.
NHS Choices: Neuralgia
Provides information on trigeminal neuralgia and post-herpetic neuralgia. Includes a short video and details of symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment.
Occipital Neuralgia Information Page
From National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Patient UK: Postherpetic Neuralgia
Factsheet on this condition, the most common complication of herpes zoster, including its epidemiology, risk factors, presentation, management, prognosis and prevention.
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Last update:September 25, 2015 at 18:17:56 UTC