A few injections of Botox – carefully placed by a skilled hand – may be all it takes to relief one of life’s most painful conditions, a kind of facial pain called TN.
Trigeminal neuralgia is often simply called TN or sometimes referred to as tic doulourex. Whatever you call it, the condition involves severe facial pain that patients often describe as a sudden stabbing pain.
The original study showing the potential benefit of Botox was small and short – but the results were nothing short of amazing. Involving 13 patient with trigeminal neuralgia, the results were so promising that they justified a larger and longer trial. Researchers involved in the original study include E.J. Piovesan, MD, a Panama neurologist with the Hospital de Clinicas da Universidade Federal do Parana. The study was published in the journal Neurology.
Those are promising results indeed. And remember that the results of this small and short study have been proven again and again in other research.
Four of those original patients stopped using medication altogether. Other cuts usage of pain medication by over half.
And even better, Botox didn’t seem to interact badly with the pain medicines these patients were taking. And after 60 days, the relief continued. Other research indicates the benefits could continue for much longer.
In another form of the condition, TN2, pain is less intense but constant. It’s possible for a patient to have both conditions.
Dr. Katz suggests that the sites to be injected for TN treatment vary according to known trigger zone areas. These differ from one patient to the next. Injections should only be given when the motor side effects of the Botox treatments do not cause severe facial esthetic or functional distortion. These may be reduced or even prevented by injecting 0.025ml of concentrated Botox at the trigger zone.
Suggested in a groundbreaking small, short study and shown to be true in other research since, Botox can make a huge difference in the lives of TN patients. But someone has to be willing to provide the shots that provide the change.
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