We treat many types of facial pain at Raleigh Acupuncture. This includes TMJ (jaw pain), trigeminal neuralgia, bells palsy, sinus pressure and tension headaches. Each case requires a specific treatment plan, and good results are achieved most of the time. Let’s take a look at each of these types of pain.
TMJ (Jaw Pain)
With 3 million Americans a year dealing with this facial pain, it’s no surprise we get so many calls about it. The temporomandibular joint or TMJ acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull. Dysfunction can lead to pain and discomfort, including face pain and headaches. Jaw pain, difficulty chewing, and clicking and locking of the jaw joint are some of the symptoms.
Acupuncture heals the jaw dysfunction. It increases blood and Qi circulation in the joint, allowing the joint to function without pain. It releases tight muscles in the jaw, face and head, allowing the joint to function properly. Like the knee or shoulder, jaw pain involves trouble with the joint. Acupuncture helps joints function without pain.
Our TMJ patients start seeing results within the first few treatments. Very often their pain involves not just the jaw, but the head, neck and shoulder as well. In these cases we treat the entire area, restoring normal muscle function, improved blood circulation and pain reduction.
TN is one of the worst facial pain conditions imaginable. It is a stabbing nerve pain that comes in waves through the face. It typically affects just one side of the face and is often triggered from dental work (root canals are a major culprit).
Trigeminal neuralgia is described as episodes of severe, shooting or jabbing pain that feels like an electric shock. These spontaneous, random, continuous attacks of pain or can be triggered by things such as touching the face, chewing, speaking or brushing teeth. Once it sets in it often lasts for months, sometimes years.
Acupuncture calms this pain. It works on the nerves, quiets them, allowing pain to settle and be reduced. Calming the facial nerves is the most effective way to stop this pain. Over 80% of our trigeminal neuralgia patients get relief from acupuncture, with 60% having their condition resolved completely. Patients who do not respond to acupuncture are referred to surgeons for more invasive treatment. But it’s always a good idea to try acupuncture first.
Bell’s palsy is facial paralysis on one side of the face. It strikes instantly. One minute you are fine, the next half your face is paralyzed. Patients are unable to blink their eye and unable to smile on one side of their face. There is often facial pain with numbness or tingling. Sometimes the condition resolves itself over time (typically 3 to 6 months), but the condition can be permanent.
Doctors treat Bell’s palsy with anti-viral and anti-inflammation medications. Then they send you home to wait. We suggest you come for acupuncture treatment immediately after taking these Western medications. The combination of drugs and acupuncture will improve your chances of full recovery.
Acupuncture helps the body restore normal nerve function to the face. It is similar to our trigeminal neuralgia treatment. Both conditions involve facial nerve dysfunction, although the trigger of the problem is different. The Chinese medicine explanation for Bell’s Palsy is called Wind Stroke causing paralysis. Acupuncture heals this condition with a high level of success.
Chronic Sinus Pressure
Do you have constant sinus blockage? Does it cause you facial pain and head pain? Acupuncture can open up your sinuses and keep them open. We treat the underlying root cause of your sinus blockage, providing long term relief.
Sinus pressure stems from an imbalance with the body’s water metabolism. In Chinese medicine this imbalance is due to weakness in the Spleen function. Excess dampness and phlegm accumulate in the head and fill the sinuses. Treatment involves opening the blocked sinuses AND addressing the root weakness with the Spleen.
You can open the sinuses all day long, but until you address the root issue they will just fill up again. Treating both is the only way to provide long lasting results. Acupuncture provides this.
Technically headaches are “head” pain, not “face” pain. However, tension headaches often affect the forehead, eyes, temples and jaw. The source of tension headaches can be tight neck and shoulder muscles, tight jaw muscles, stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep, to name just a few.
When patients come in with tension headaches we first identify the source of the problem. For example, frontal headaches can often come from sinus congestion. That would require addressing the Spleen. Headaches in the temples are often due to stress causing neck pain that radiates to the temples. For stress we need to treat locally but also address Liver function. Good Liver function means less stress.
Acupuncture treats all types of headaches and migraines. There are about 20 distinct types of headaches, all requiring slightly different treatment. If you are tired of taking pain medicines for your headaches come in and try acupuncture.
Facial Pain Treatment – What To Expect
All needles are sterile, single-use and hair thin. You will hardly feel them. And treatments are relaxing. Many of our patients fall asleep during their session. You will wake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
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What our Clients are Saying
My jaw was broken 20 years ago and never healed right. I had constant pain all the time. Finally tried acupuncture for a lark. Ended up getting rid of 90% of the pain. Couldn’t believe it. I highly recommend Raleigh Acupuncture Associates.
My sister recommended Raleigh Acupuncture for my TMJ, after no luck with other types of treatment. I was surprised and pleased to see that acupuncture helped. My jaw pain is gone after 6 treatments. No pain at all. I recommend this practice to anyone with TMJ.
My dentist damaged a nerve in my face that triggered terrible trigeminal neuralgia. The pain in my face was way more than 10 out of 10. I could not think, could not work, could not sleep. I truly thought my life was over. But thanks to Raleigh Acupuncture Associates I am 95% better. It took three months of treatment, but it was worth it. My regular doctor had no solution for me. His pain medicine did not work. I tried an $8000 procedure of laser cutting, and that did not work. But acupuncture DID work. I’m telling you, if you have trigeminal neuralgia in your face, come to these guys. I love them!
I woke up one morning and started getting these excruciatingly painful shooting electric pains on the left side of my face. My wife took me to the emergency room and they said I had trigeminal neuralgia. They gave me some pain medicine, but a nurse there suggested I try acupuncture. She had this pain once and it was cured by acupuncture. She gave me the name of Raleigh Acupuncture. When I explained the situation they took me in the same day. After just one treatment I started feeling better. They saw me every day for six days, at which point the pain was completely gone. What a life saver. I strongly recommend getting acupuncture for trigeminal neuralgia.
I woke up in the morning and could not feel the left side of my face. I could not close my left eye. I have been to several doctors and have taken different drugs. I have a little improvement but majority of the problem remained. Out of desperation, I called Raleigh Acupuncture to check out if they treat this condition. They said they have successfully treated this condition and encourage me to come in as soon as possible because the sooner I come in, the better. I came in that same day. To my surprise, after just the first treatment, I could close my left eye. That was huge for me. Because I did not need to tape my left eye shut when I went to sleep for the 1st time since this happen. And during the day, I did not need to keep putting in drops to moisten it. I continued my treatment with them. I got better and better. I started to have sensation coming back. I could drink water without spilling all over myself. I could smile. Anyway, I am 100% cured. If you have this condition, don’t wait, call them and get treated right away. It surely saves a lot of anxiety and struggles.