I just felt that I need to post this to the site although I’m no longer active here.
I have had all branches bilateral TN and ATN for a total of 19 years, and was gaining tolerance to opioids (which I was on daily), so I decided to hold no bars and go for an approach that has been gaining momentum in research in the later years.
I read this book Explain Pain by one of the world’s leading pain experts, Lorimer Moseley, and David Butler. Suffice it to say it changed everything.
Their approach is basically explaining to you what pain actually is, and that your brain can be relearnt how to not send pain signals. Basically, you have to expose yourself to the pain in measured quantities, to increase your threshold. I have had constant pain for the last 5 years and after 1,5 months my brain went from a constant 5 to a constant 0. Yes, really.
It is hard work, but it is free of all side effects. I am off the opiods, off Tegretol, and I’m working on all my triggers now that the constant pain is switched off. I’ve been doing this since March, and the results are incredible. I could not use any screen at all, and now I can play a game on my phone for 20+ minutes, which was not something I considered even attempting in February. I already tolerate pressure, sound and drafts/AC much better. It’s going well on all fronts, and I only have to take a tapentadol about once a week.
If you want to learn more, you can get more information on their site:
They also have and outreach and publishing site where you can buy their books. http://www.noigroup.com
The medical research is solid. They also have a workbook companion to Explain Pain, called the Protectometer (also an ipad app). This workbook takes you trhough the actual steps of exposing yourself to pain. Although the researchers focus on more common forms of pain like back pain, I can testify that it helps TN too. It is all about the brain readjusting to not sending the “danger signal” (pain) when it is not warranted.
Lorimer Moseley has a profile page here: Lorimer Moseley AO Home Page, University of South Australia
He also has an excellent, short TEDx here, which is a good place to start:
Just want to round off that it is hard work, and painful, and you should probably do this with a pain doctor and/or psychologist. But - if you are up for it, you can actually retrain your brain. You just need to know that you will come out the other side - if not healed, then substantially better.
I hope his has helped you! I am not on this forum anymore, but you should find all the necessary information on these sites+in discussion with your doctor.