Photo: Getty Images
Alternative treatments for trigeminal neuralgia are similar to those for occipital neuralgia, although there are some differences as the pain of trigeminal neuralgia is in the face rather than the back of the head. Some of these treatments include:
1. Vitamin B12 supplementation. This vitamin helps promote healthy nerve function. This is particularly important if you are vegetarian or vegan as you may have less of the vitamin in your system than you need.
2. Omega 3. Fish oils or flaxseed oil, olive oil or nut oils may help strengthen your nerves and ease inflammation.
3. See a nutritionist or doctor who specializes in treating patients with high amounts of nutritional supplements. Dr. Russell Blaylock is a neurosurgeon who worked with Dr. Peter Janetta during his early research on vascular compression of the cranial nerves as a cause for trigeminal neuralgia. Blaylock was also one of the first neurosurgeons to successfully use high dose nutritional supplementation for head trauma patients.
4. Homeopathy has been known to help some patients, including the author of this article, who has another form, occipital neuralgia. Remedies are tailored to the person’s overall constitution and symptoms rather than to specific conditions so it is better to see a qualified homeopath who will take a medical history, rather than read suggestions for remedies.
5. Acupuncture may help. A study at Tsurumi University School of Dental Medicine found that five out of 10 trigeminal neuralgia patients were restored to a pain-free state, four had a reduction in pain and the remaining one still had severe pain. They concluded: "meridian acupuncture treatment is useful and can be one therapeutic approach in the management of trigeminal neuralgia."
6. St. John’s wort. It is a herb that has been used for hundreds of years to treat depression and nerve pain. If you are on anti-depressants, heart medication, anti-epileptics, anti-coagulants, anti-rejection drugs, HIV medication or the contraceptive pill, it may interact with these and is not suitable for use in these cases. It is not suitable for use in pregnant or breast feeding mothers.