Herniated Discs and TN

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Good afternoon, I was diagnosed with bulging/herniated discs C3-C7 several years ago and have been doing intensed physical therapy.  I also had Gamma Knife in 2012 for a Meningioma next to the brain stem.  About 6 months after the surgery I had my first lightening bolt of pain in my left cheek.  Didn't happen again for quite awhile, but over the past year and a half it has rapidly progressed.  My neurologist has indicated TN.  I have researched this exhaustively.   I've been prescribed Tegretol and have started ramping up the dosage as per my doctor.  It does seem to dull the pain.  However my question is can this (TN) be caused by neck issues?  I have started tracking attacks and they are almost always seem to be  the result of neck positioning including when I first wake up..and if my neck is in one position too long. I rarely if ever have pain when I'm movinting around.  My neurologist isn't open to this idea but I'm wondering if anyone out there has this same connection?  Is it possible that somewhere in my neck there is compression that can affect the nerve?  I will be interested in hearing from any of you, and then perhaps can plot a new course of doctors.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Um, is the pain in your left cheek on the same side as the meningioma was or on the other side?
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    • Posted

      My meningioma was just to the left of the brain stem, and all of my pain is on the left side of my face, mostly in the cheek and eye area.  It is always very bad when I have to tilt my head forward, for example to read a book.
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    • Posted

      I, too have this problem. I am about to get it blasted by gamma knife on the 13th. i have been warned that they often grow back. perhaps this is what has happened to you. Go see someone who can order an MRI to see if it has. My pain is also worse when i tilt my head forward. how odd. Neurologist thinks that this may actually be the cause of my TN although they are going to treat the nerve as well. I also have another of the meningiomas (but smaller) on the other side. They said they will treat that one as well. I am slightly scared but i remind myself that my parents went through WW2 and i shouldn't be a pussy...
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  • Posted

    oh, the doc also said that the brain shrinks as we get older and allows more space for things to move around which i guess could mean that it allows space for something to contact the nerve. I was warned that if i had regular surgery i needed to be careful not to strain my neck or upper back muscles as it might have an impact. I dont know how long that was supposed to apply.I am very interested that perhaps your experience has some similarity to mine.
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    • Posted

      Well, I think its about where the herniated discs are located too. Obviously if it was in your lower back it might have no impact but given that its in your neck (unless i misunderstand) it must be putting stress on  your neck muscles. A quick search through google using the search term "can stress affect trigeminal neuralgia"  brings up an article by pubmed which states that stress can affect (but not cause) trigeminal neuralgia. But, i think you need a follow up MRI to see if the meningioma has returned just to be on the safe side.
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  • Posted

    you know what? thats what i have been wondering, i have lower slipped disc, one been operated on, but because i haven't stood up straight properly all these years  i have a bulge in the back of my neck and have wondered if this is all connected. i have also thought about seeing an upper cervical specialist, it must be connected, i swear it all is. my neck gets so tight and gives me headaches almost every day. ask another doctor for their opinion.
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    • Posted

      You must be in a lot of pain every day. No harm in asking to be referred to an upper cervical specialist. At least they could give you some insight into whether they can help you. Anything  we can do to lessen our pain is a good track to follow. It gives us hope for a better day.
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