Trigeminal Neuralgia, Meniere’s disease, Ringing in the Ears, the Jaw Joint and Neck
The most striking clinical finding in tinnitus and Meniere’s disease is that the close correlation it has with the jaw joint and the upper neck. The nerve that controls the sensory and motor functions of the face, chewing, biting, and the jaw joint is the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve or the fifth cranial nerve (CN V) is the largest of all cranial nerves. There are 12-paired cranial nerves in total. They arise from the brain stem and control much of our various functions in the body.
In simple terms, trigeminal neuralgia is a condition that causes pain in the face, gums, teeth or jaws. Attacks of pain are often sudden and short-lived, lasting seconds to a couple of minutes.
As the name applies, trigeminal neuralgia is the results of compression, irritation or damage of the trigeminal nerve (CN v or the 5th Cranial Nerve). Tinnitus, Meniere’s disease, headaches, migraines, and jaw pain are common symptoms associated with trigeminal neuralgia.
Targeted corrective chiropractic treatments of the upper cervical spine have shown significant clinical advantages in treatments of trigeminal neuralgia. To understand the role of corrective research-based chiropractic, we need to know how pain is perceived. We feel facial and neck pain when the somatosensory cortex of the thalamus is activated. That activation is the result of signals received from the trigeminal cervical nucleus. As mentioned earlier, the trigeminal cervical nucleus is in the uppermost portions of the spinal cord at the level of C1-C3.
When the upper cervical spinal segments or the base of the skull are improperly aligned or injured, it leads to excessive firing or activations of the trigeminal cervical nucleus. Therefore, correcting minor misalignments of the upper neck are beneficial for patients with facial pain, jaw pain, headaches, migraines, tinnitus or Meniere’s disease.