Trigeminal Neuralgia in a Time of COVID-19

April 2020 - These are stressful times. Dr. McLaughlin shares his thoughts on ways for Trigeminal Neuralgia patients to deal with the current situation.

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Hey this is a shout-out to my Trigeminal Neuralgia patients out there who are experiencing facial pain right now. This is a very stressful time period for everybody and we all know that stress can increase your trigeminal neuralgia pain,  so I want you to know I'm thinking about you and I wanted to share with you a couple of techniques to try and keep a lid on this as best as possible during these stressful times.

First of all ..., because we know stress is so, so integral in trigeminal neuralgia pain it's important to control your stress. You can control your stress with exercise with keeping daily routines, which whether that's a walk or whether that's just maintaining your three meals at certain times. Whatever it is to maintain routines and give yourself a structure of the day. Our body is used to routines. We're used to the Sun coming up and the Sun going down and us going to sleep. It's in our genes. The circadian rhythms of life are important to keep, so maintain a structured routine, maintain a healthy diet, maintain your hydration because obviously that can make things worse. That's important.

Exercise. Meditate. Get some walks in there so you can rest yourself and again control the stress.

And then lastly know that we are a lifeline and we can still be spoken to over the phone or with a televisit and maybe we can bump your medications up if necessary or figure out how to troubleshoot your pain right now. And sometimes if you're not able to eat right if you're not getting the fluids you need, you may be a candidate for urgent elective surgery which we're still doing, so you have some options and some tools. And don't forget to reach out to your doctors if you feel helpless and your pain is getting worse. There are some answers for you still.

More about Trigeminal Neuralgia

Princeton Brain & Spine neurosurgeon Mark R. McLaughlin, MD, FACS, FAANS trained with Peter Jannetta, M.D., the "father" of modern microvascular decompression surgery for trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and other cranial nerve rhizopathies. Dr. McLaughlin worked closely with Dr. Jannetta in the ongoing research, and was the lead author of the paper 

"Microvascular decompression of cranial nerves: lessons learned after 4400 operations" published in the Journal of Neurosurgery in January 1999. On PUBMED

He was also co-author with Drs Jannetta and Casey of "Technique of Microvascular Decompression: A Technical Note"

Other TN resources include:

Trigeminal Neuralgia Factsheet at NIH

Trigeminal Neuralgia Overview at American Association of Neurological Surgeons

Rare Disease Database at National Organization for Rare Disorders

Covid-19 Resources

The Lancet is the world's oldest peer-reviewed medical journal. Their

The Lancet Covid-19 Resources page is trustworthy and contains current research.

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