• 20 April 2022
    Treating Temporomandibular Joint disorder and Trigeminal Neuralgia with acupuncture

    Treating Temporomandibular Joint disorder and Trigeminal Neuralgia with acupuncture

    These problems come under the umbrella of Facial Pain, though the exact presentation varies greatly from person to person. Of the two, TMJ appears to respond best to acupuncture.

    Evidence also suggests that Trigeminal Neuralgia symptoms can be treated, however, whether the underlying causes can be resolved longer term remains uncertain.

    No holistic or medical therapy is effective in all cases. That said, if you’ve suffered with either condition for some time, acupuncture is certainly worth considering. Acupuncturists will agree an initial treatment plan with you, so that you know up front how many sessions you’ll need.

    In my experience, whether it be TMJ or TN, if there’s no appreciable difference within three sessions, acupuncture is unlikely to be the way forward. Fortunately, Oxford Street Therapy Centre has many other natural and holistic options available. 

    The British Acupuncture Council has this to say regarding facial pain:

    In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

    Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically help in the management of facial pain by:

    • acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010; Hui 2009)

    • increasing the release of adenosine, which has antinociceptive properties (Goldman 2010)

    • inducing antinociception by activating the opioid pathway (Almeida 2008a) or the L-arg/NO/cGMP pathway (Almeida 2008b)

    • exciting or inhibiting the anterior temporalis muscle via reflex pathways and thus smoothing jaw opening and closing (Wang 2007)

    You can read more on the subject here.


    If you’d like an informal chat about anything to do with acupuncture, feel free to give me a call on 07969 866549.

    José Lacey Dip Ac, MBACC

    November, 2018