What’s Worse than Trigeminal Neuralgia? Not Knowing Acupuncture Can Help, That’s What!
I read this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1241888/Imagine-excruciating-pain-human-experience-.html) about trigeminal neuralgia and one quotation from the article just made my face cringe.
Okay for those who didn’t quite get the pun, trigeminal neuralgia is the funny doctor term for “very very very painful facial… pain”.
Dr Anish Bahra, consultant neurologist at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, says:
“Acupuncture and nutritional therapy are often tried by patients but there is no evidence to support the use of alternative medicine.”
Let’s hear that again. She says there is “no” evidence.
As in none, nada, zip.
Therefore, all I have to do is to show ONE bit of evidence. Just one.
And here it is, courtesy of acupuncture.com (http://www.acupuncture.com/research/face5.htm)
Practical Application of Meridian Acupuncture Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia
By Beppu S; Sato Y; Amemiya Y; Tode I.
Anesthesia and Pain Control in Dentistry, 1992 Spring, 1(2):103-8.
Abstract: This report evaluates the effect of meridian acupuncture treatment on trigeminal neuralgia. Ten patients aged 26 to 67 years (mean 55.4 years) who visited the outpatient Dental Anesthesiology Clinic at Tsurumi University Dental Hospital from 1985 to 1990 were studied. Five of the patients suffered from idiopathic and five from symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia. The patients underwent meridian treatment by acupuncture alone or acupuncture combined with moxibustion. The acupuncture method used was primarily basic treatment employing only needles without electrical stimulation. Meridian acupuncture treatments were repeated from two to four times a month.
Five patients were restored to a pain-free state. The other five patients noted a decrease in pain, but with some level of pain remaining (significant pain in one patient). It is concluded that meridian acupuncture treatment is useful and can be one therapeutic approach in the management of trigeminal neuralgia.
No evidence, says Dr. Bahra? Or is this part of Big Pharma’s campaign to discredit acupuncture in the UK, as it is elsewhere?
Oh, not convinced? Let’s look at more evidence!
Effect of Acupuncture in Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tapan K. Chaudhuri, Abhisek Ray. Medical Acupuncture. December 2008, 20(4): 231-237. doi:10.1089/acu.2008.0640. )
Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is an extremely painful and difficult condition to treat. Existing medical and surgical therapies are moderately effective in many cases, but for a considerable number of patients, these are less than satisfactory and are fraught with failure to respond, considerable side effects of the medications, complications of surgery, and postoperative relapses. Acupuncture has a long-standing reputation of being helpful in various pain syndromes and reportedly has been effective in TN.
Objective: To describe the experience of using acupuncture in a series of patients with TN that did not respond to conventional therapies.
Design, Setting, and Patients: A series of 17 consecutive patients who were referred through July 2007 with the diagnosis of TN to a solo practice of internal medicine and acupuncture in Kansas City, Missouri.
Intervention: A series of 30-minute treatment sessions consisted of the following: Dispersion of LR 3, MH 6, TH 5, GB 34 with stimulation of LI 4 and ST 36 (2 Hz), and simultaneous stimulation (30 Hz) of the facial points including ST 2, ST 3, LI 20, SI 18, and SI 19. If the supraorbital branch was involved, BL 2 was included. A gold semi-permanent needle was inserted in the trigeminal point of the ipsilateral ear.
Main Outcome Measure: Relief of pain following acupuncture.
Results: Of the 17 patients, 2 did not have classic TN. Three patients did not return after the second treatment. These patients were excluded from this series. Of the remaining 12 patients with classic TN, 4 of 5 men and all 7 women responded with markedly decreased visual analog scale scores (VAS; from mean [SD], 8.75 [1.02] to 1.95 [2.84]; P < .001). Five patients (1 man and 4 women) stayed in complete remission, which has lasted 11–15 months following their last acupuncture treatment. These 5 patients stopped taking all medications for TN. The remainder of the patients have continued to receive acupuncture on an as-necessary basis (mean [SD], 31.65 [18.26] days) for the maintenance of pain relief and no resistance to therapy has developed, with the longest follow-up being 18 months. The patients who had a history of multiple operations and procedures also had a good response. No adverse effects were observed.
Conclusions: Acupuncture produced beneficial effects in the majority of patients in this series. Acupuncture should be considered as a safe therapeutic option in patients with TN, especially before invasive intervention is done.
Note that this article is from 2008.
From China’s Journal of Acupuncture and Tuina Science.
Treatment of 32 cases of primary trigeminal neuralgia by acupuncture plus moxibustion with warming needle on Xiaguan (ST 7)
Han Zhao-cheng 1
(1) Acupuncture Department, Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University of TCM, Jinan, 250011, P. R. China
Received: 7 May 2007
Summary The main acupoints of Acupuncture therapy were Xiaguan (ST 7), Sanjian (LI 3), Xiangu (ST 43), Zulinqi (GB 41), Sanyinjiao (SP 6) and Taixi (KI 3). Moxibustion with warming needle on Xiaguan (ST 7), reduction method on Sanjian (LI 3) on the unaffected side and Xiangu (ST 43) and Zulinqi (GB 41) on the affected side, reinforcement method on Sanyinjiao (SP 6) and Taixi (KI 3) on the affected side were given. Moreover, according to the affected area, the local acupoints were added, Yangbai (GB 14) for the opthalmic branch, Quanliao (SI 18) for the maxillary branch and Jiache (ST 6) for the mandibular branch. Among 32 cases, after 24 acupuncture treatments, 4 cases were cured, 19 cases got marked effectiveness, 7 cases was improved and 2 cases had no effectiveness.
Really really major duh.