Head Region Neuropathies
A common misconception about the nervous system is that it acts similar in concept to that of a doorbell made of a button, wire, and bell. The truth is that the nervous system is a living and adaptive complex that conducts sensory and pain messages from the environment to the spinal cord or brain and then carries responses back to the body. The sensory system provides data to the autonomic, cognitive, and emotional centers that regulate the body systems for normal body function. The pain system regulates information about damage and responses and functions to protect the individual from perceived dangers. The health balance and harmony of these sensory and pain systems are critical to normal function.
When an imbalance occurs in the nervous system, it disrupts the ability to function properly. A state of imbalance can be caused by:
pressure on a peripheral nerve
nerve injury by surgery
nerve irritation by blood vessel
nerve injury by injection
irritation by osteomyelitis
burning mouth syndrome.
Any of these pathologies can create inflammation in the nerve somewhere along the nerves path. This can create an impulse that signals that an external structure is damaged. This creates a diagnostic dilemma. When the nerve tissue itself is stressed, damaged, infected, or irritated, it may create pain anywhere along its path. It may create other sensory abnormalities such as numbness, sensory distortion, or altered balance, tinnitus, or altered perception.
Each of these neurological pathologies involves inflammation of a nerve branch that can be localized by anesthetic testingexcept for burning mouth which is more diffuse. These nerve pathologies occur most frequently in females over 50 who are under a great deal of perceived danger or stress. The nerve inflammation may be due to rapid and frequent impulses over a short period of time in the sympathetic system, damage to a nerve, improper regeneration, improper healing, disturbances in the pain inhibitory system, or combinations. With over-stimulation of the pain nervous system, the pain inhibitory system decreases its ability to block pain signals, a false pain signal may develop in an injured nerve, a damaged nerve may become hyper excitable, or any number of dysfunctions may occur in response to the resulting damage of the pain reporting system.
Please refer to the Nov/Dec 2005 issue for the complete text. In the event you need to order a back issue, please click here.