I just read this article about treatment on a woman with ATN. Has anyone else tried it?

Blessings, Sheila

Good Morning, Sheila,

I've seen fragmentary evidence over the years that upper cervical chiropractic does seem to help some TN or ATN patients, some of the time. There are testimonials on video tape from some of the TNA National Conferences in the early 2000-2003 time frame. You might contact the TNA national office to determine whether the library still contains those tapes for mail checkout.

I very much doubt, however, that a cervical "misalignment" (the idea of which in my personal view is a load of bull feathers!) is a cause of TN or ATN; nor does "proper" alignment (according to a chiropractor) actually treat this non-problem. Simple alignment of the spine doesn't directly affect the proximity of the trigeminal nerve to blood vessels. Likewise, in ATN and other forms of facial neuropathy, more subtle mechanisms other than nerve contact with a pulsing blood vessel seem to be involved in the pain.

A much more likely mechanism in the improvement of pain observed after chiropractic treatment is that the mechanical movement of the upper cervical spine may be transmitted through muscles and soft tissue to the area of the brain stem, and cause a temporary retraction of an impinging blood vessel from the nerve. The opposite effect could occur with equal plausibility, and very likely does in patients who first present with TN pain after a whiplash injury. So my concern is that there appears to be no regularly repeatable mechanism for pain improvement -- and the same mechanical motion which helps in some patients, could potentially be harmful in others, by bringing the nerve into closer contact with a blood vessel.

If you choose to investigate upper cervical chiropractic, my personal (and hopefully informed) advice would be to please do so with the active monitoring and mentoring of a mainstream neurologist. If it works for you, by all means continue treatments. If it doesn't or if your pain gets worse, then leave off with the bone crackers. Chiropractic training in neuro-science is simply not adequate to protect your interests as a patient.

Good points mentioned, Red.

Since my TN was caused by a sideways whiplash, your advice has made me decide to shy away from chiropractors for TN. I have heard of "D.O.'s" (Doctors of osteopath" who do a cranial adjustment which has helped many people, but like you said, there is a chance that the pain could be made worse, and I just can't deal with that because right now I'm taking the only medicine I'm not allergic to and it's not holding the pain.

Thanks for input,