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3.7 Motor Cortex Stimulation

FACIAL PAIN: A 21st CENTURY GUIDE For People with Trigeminal Neuralgia Neuropathic Pain 3.7  Motor Cortex Stimulation Olga Khazen, BS and Julie G. Pilitsis, MD, PhD Not all facial pain is TN. This is a common mantra of experienced physicians to their trainees. How to differentiate between TN, especially TN type 2 and trigeminal neuropathic […]
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How Intractable Pain Causes Brain Tissue Loss

By Dr. Forest Tennant, PNN Columnist -August 09 2

The brain not only controls pain but the endocrine, cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Any or all of these biologic systems may malfunction if there is brain tissue loss.

Beginning in 2004, brain scan studies began to document that brain tissue loss can be caused by intractable pain. Today, almost 20 years later, this important fact appears to be either unknown or a mystery to both the public and medical professionals.

Basic science researchers have unravelled the complex process of how and why this pathological phenomenon may occur. A good understanding of how this pathology develops is critical to properly care for and treat persons who develop intractable pain whether due to a disease or an injury.

What Causes Tissue Loss?

Tissue loss anywhere in the body is caused by inflammation, autoimmunity, or loss of blood supply due to trauma or disease. The brain scan studies done since 2004 that documented brain tissue loss were not done in persons who had a stroke or head trauma, but in pain patients experiencing inflammation and autoimmunity (i.e., collagen deterioration). It turns out that both biologic mechanisms may operate to cause brain tissue loss in intractable pain patients.

In the pursuit of understanding brain tissue loss and its accompanying malfunctions, it has been discovered that the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system or CNS) contain cells called microglia. They are closely akin to the immune protective cells in the blood stream which are called a “lymphocytes.”

The microglia in the CNS lay dormant until a harmful infection, toxin or bioelectric magnetic signal enters its domain, at which time it activates to capture and encapsulate the danger or produce inflammation to destroy the offender.

If the microglia are overwhelmed by some danger, such as a painful disease that isn’t cured, it produces excess inflammation that destroys some brain tissue which can be seen on special brain scans. Some viruses such as Epstein Barr may hibernate in microglia cells and create an autoimmune response, which magnifies inflammation and brain tissue loss.

Intractable pain diseases such as adhesive arachnoiditis (AA), reflex sympathetic dystrophy (CRPS/RSD), and genetic connective tissue diseases such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome may incessantly produce toxic tissue particles and/or bioelectromagnetic signals that perpetuate microglial inflammation, tissue loss and CNS malfunctions.

This is the reason why proper pain management must have two targets: the pain generator and CNS inflammation.

How To Know You Have Lost Brain Tissue

If your pain is constant and never totally goes away, it means you have lost some brain tissue and neurotransmitters that normally shut off pain. If you have episodes of sweating, heat or anxiety, you probably have inflammation that is flaring. Naturally, if you feel you have lost some reading, calculating or memory capacity, it possibly means you have lost some brain tissue. MRI’s may also show some fibrous scars.

Fortunately, studies show that if a painful disease or injury is cured or reduced, brain tissue can regenerate. While we can’t guarantee that brain tissue will be restored, we offer here our simple, immediate and first step recommendations using non-prescription measures.

First, do you know the name and characteristics of the disease or injury that is causing your pain? Are you engaging in specific treatments to reduce or even cure your disease, or are you simply taking symptomatic pain relief medications?

Start at least two herbal-botanical agents that have some clinical indications that they reduce inflammation in the brain and spinal cord: serrapeptase – palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) and astragalus-curcumin-luteolin-nanokinase. You can take different agents on different days.

Increase the amount of protein (meat, fish, poultry, eggs) in your diet. Consider a collagen supplement. Limit starches and sugars.

Start taking these vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin C – 2,000mg in the AM & PM

  • Vitamin B-12, Vitamin D

  • Minerals: Magnesium and selenium

We recommend vitamins daily and minerals 3 to 5 days a week.

The above will help you stop additional tissue loss and hopefully regenerate brain tissue.

Forest Tennant, MD, DrPH, is retired from clinical practice but continues his research on the treatment of intractable pain and arachnoiditis. This column is adapted from bulletins recently issued by the Arachnoiditis Research and Education Project and the Intractable Pain Syndrome Research and Education Project.

The Tennant Foundation gives financial support to Pain News Network and sponsors PNN’s Patient Resources section.

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Presentation by Karen Smith – Her experiences living with Chronic Pain

Karen Smith advocates for chronic pain sufferers in Canada, and shares her personal story in this presentation.

In this video she describes the impact on her, from other peoples reaction to her, when she discloses she lives with chronic pain.  In her case she suffers from a debilitating back injury, but I think her observations are true for all sufferers of invisible chronic pain conditions

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3.2 Microvascular Decompression: Attacking the Root of the Problem

FACIAL PAIN: A 21st CENTURY GUIDE For People with Trigeminal Neuralgia Neuropathic Pain 3.2 Microvascular Decompression: Attacking the Root of the Problem by Kenneth F. Casey, MD [Kenneth F. Casey MD FACS is a Past-President of the Medical Advisory Board of the American Facial Pain Association. He is an Associate Professor of Neurosurgery and Physical […]
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Whole Person Pain – Empowered Relief

The Association recently were provided details from Stamford University of the presentation by Dr. Beth Darnall, PhD – Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine

A video recording of last week’s program called “Whole Person Pain” is now available

 The presentation in 90 minutes in length and has details of many study approaches.  It is very relevant to the USA sufferers but there are plenty of tips to help you manage pain.  This presentation is one you can dip in and out of to view.  We hope you find it interesting and educational

Whole Person Pain – Empowered Relief – YouTube

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Deloitte Access Economics Report – The Cost of Pain in Australia

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Sufferers of Trigeminal Neuralgia suffer chronic pain and very often treatment is made harder due to the  clinicians,  who treat the patient, do not always work collaboratively through the diagnostic and treatment process.

The Deloitte report is very interesting because it highlights the huge benefits from multi departmental care.

“Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by Painaustralia to establish the local and Australia wide socioeconomic impact of pain, and to conduct a cost effectiveness analysis of health interventions that could reduce the impact of pain in Australia.

In this report, evidence has been presented to demonstrate the burden of chronic pain in Australia, including health system, productivity and carer costs, other financial costs and the loss of wellbeing.

The key findings include:

  • 3.24 million Australians were living with chronic pain in 2018. 53.8% are women and 68.3% are of working age
  • For the majority (56%) of Australians living with chronic pain, their pain restricts what activities they are able to undertake
  • The total financial cost of chronic pain in Australia in 2018 was estimated to be $73.2 billion, comprising $12.2 billion in health system costs, $48.3 billion in productivity losses, and $12.7 billion in other financial costs, such as informal care, aids and modifications and deadweight losses
  • People with chronic pain also experience a substantial reduction in their quality of life, valued at an additional $66.1 billion
  • The costs of chronic pain are expected to increase from $139.3 billion in 2018 to $215.6 billion by 2050 in real 2017-18 dollars
  • An extension of best practice care to Australian patients could lead to
    • substantial savings and better health outcomes.

    Published: April 2019″

The full report can be downloaded below – it is a long read but the index is extensive so users can hone into the areas that interest them

[Download not found]

Deloitte have also provided a shorter presentation covering the key points

[Download not found]
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Barometric Pressure – Impacting Pain

When the Gold Coast Support Group met on Saturday 4th December for their Christmas Lunch, there was a lot of chat about the weather we had been experiencing November had been a very stormy month and the Coast had received a lot of rain.  Many of our members commented that the weather had really set […]
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Risks Ahead – Avoiding triggers associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia

Risks Ahead - avoiding triggers associated with Trigeminal Neuralgia

The painful attacks of trigeminal neuralgia can sometimes be brought on, or made worse, by certain triggers, so it may help to avoid these triggers if possible.

For example, if your pain is triggered by wind, it may help to wear a scarf wrapped around your face in windy weather. A transparent dome-shaped umbrella can also protect your face from the weather.

If your pain is triggered by a draught in a room, avoid sitting near open windows or the source of air conditioning.

Avoid hot, spicy or cold food or drink if these seem to trigger your pain. Using a straw to drink warm or cold drinks may also help prevent the liquid coming into contact with painful areas of your mouth.

It’s important to eat nourishing meals, so consider eating mushy foods or liquidising your meals if you’re having difficulty chewing.

Certain foods seem to trigger attacks in some people, so you may want to consider avoiding things such as caffeine, citrus fruits and bananas.

Want to make a difference in the life of someone who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia? Consider Membership to TNA Australia or a tax deductible donation.

Stay in touch by joining our newsletter – we’ll email a few times during the year with tips on how to best support people who suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia.

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Coping with Pain

Strategies for Coping with Pain

Pain is a constant when you are a sufferer of Trigeminal Neuralgia. Medications can help control the pain, and treatments don’t always take all of the pain away, all of the time. Sufferers often experience pain free periods, but can suffer extreme pain anxiety while pain free, in anticipation of a reoccurrence.

Recently our Sunshine Coast Support Group Leader, Nora English, shared her experience about managing pain

We hope you enjoy the article and can apply the the process to your pain cycles. Please do consider becoming a member of our Association to gain more insights, support, understanding and to be part of our exciting new initiatives coming soon, or make a donation to fund our research programs

Thought I would share my personal experience of power of positive psychology! I recently had a tooth pulled, due to an abscess, on my TN side. I put this off for 2 years for fear of TN returning as I have been pain free since Jan 2016. Before the procedure I did meditative breathing, during the procedure I was in a meditative state in the ocean at sunrise and the dentist pulling was the ebb and flow of the ocean. I was completely relaxed and all went well. But a few days later TN returned, so I kept telling myself “the nerve is just agitated it will pass” I felt like I was passing into migraine territory so I visited my upper cervical chiropractor. Then I visited a friend who instantly saw the pain in my face and got out her drum for sound healing. I have never tried sound healing before but it was quite extraordinary, I could feel a physical shift of energy and the TN and migraine gone. That was 4 weeks ago and I am still pain free. So yes the power of the mind and our thoughts is critical!

Stay positive”Nora English

Want to make a difference in the life of someone who suffers from Trigeminal Neuralgia? Consider Membership to TNA Australia or a tax deductible donation.

Stay in touch by joining our newsletter – we’ll email a few times during the year with tips on how to best support people who suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia.