Horley Clinic 01293 784200 • Crawley Clinic 01293 400218
Select Page
How osteopathy can help with symptoms of neuralgia
August 11, 2021

How osteopathy can help with symptoms of neuralgia

Aug 11, 2021 | Blog

Follow us here

Neuralgia literally means nerve pain, but its usage is more specific than that. Osteopathy may be able to help with the symptoms of neuralgia.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

The trigeminal nerve is a nerve that supplies the face with sensation and movement. It splits into three smaller nerves, supplying the forehead, mid-face, and lower jaw. In trigeminal neuralgia, one of these branches is irritated somewhere along its route from the brain to the face. The pain can be agonising, and although attacks typically last under two minutes, it can feel like much longer.

Symptoms can develop for no apparent reason, causing attacks more than once a day for some people. It is possible for symptoms to subside and to go into remission, which can again be for unknown reasons. There are a number of places where the nerve may be irritated, as it passes through small gaps on its way to the face.

Identifying your triggers is an important part of managing your symptoms. If you know that washing your face with cold water tends to set off your pain, you can find alternatives that prevent your attacks. Triggers vary from case to case, and are partially dependent on which nerve is involved. Things like chewing, brushing your teeth, and smiling can be enough to start an attack. Your osteopath may be able to work with you better after knowing what causes your symptoms. We can also use techniques to try and desensitise the nervous system to reduce the intensity of your pain.

Post-Viral Neuralgia

After an infection with some viruses, the body can develop a new pain. This can happen after shingles, as the virus lays dormant within the nervous system. As the shingles virus is part of the herpes family, this is known as “post herpetic neuralgia”. The shingles rash can form a line between ribs as it follows a nerve. Once the rash subsides, new symptoms may appear in the same place. This affects about 20% of people who have shingles and is more prevalent in the over-50s.

Similar to trigeminal neuralgia, symptoms can include:

  • pain that may be intermittent or constant
  • shooting, stabbing, or electric type pain
  • increased sensitivity to pain (hyperalgesia)
  • pain from usually non-painful stimuli (allodynia)

Although most people recover within a year, symptoms can persist. Strategies to manage the pain (desensitising) can complement prescribed painkillers.

Other Forms of Nerve Pain

Sciatica is a common example of nerve pain, although it is not a neuralgia. There are similarities between the two, as both can present with:

  • pins and needles
  • numbness
  • shooting pain

You can read more about sciatica on our blog.


Nerve pain, especially when chronic, can severely impact your quality of life. We may be able to help relieve your symptoms, so don’t suffer in silence. Hands-on treatment, as well as education and exercise, are recognised methods of managing pain. Patients often like to avoid strong painkillers, but if your doctor prescribes them, they can work well alongside osteopathy.

Book an appointment in Horley or Crawley to manage your neuralgia here.

Read related posts

Find out more about how osteopathy can help you manage and prevent injury and pain.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is an issue that causes pain and other symptoms in the shoulder and arm. It occurs when there is compression of blood vessels, nerves, or both. The compression happens at the thoracic outlet, which is a small space near where the collar...

read more
Infant Colic and Osteopathy

Infant Colic and Osteopathy

Colic is not a specific condition or a diagnosis. Rather, it is a collection of symptoms (primarily persistent crying) that could be indicative of a number of other things. Symptoms of Colic The NHS definition of colic is crying for: more than 3 hours a day over 3 or...

read more
The Pelvic Floor and its Significance

The Pelvic Floor and its Significance

The pelvic floor is not something that should only concern women in pregnancy and post partum. Everyone has a pelvic floor, and its role extends beyond bladder and bowel function. Pelvic floor dysfunction can have a link to lower back pain. What is the Pelvic Floor?...

read more

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!