Woman Finds Relief From Agonizing Facial Pain Through Running

For years, running has rightfully been claimed as one of the best cardiovascular workouts for anyone. It improves pulmonary (lung function), improves blood flow, lowers coronary artery disease risk, improves mood, libido, and aids in weight loss. Although there are some drawbacks, such as much more injuries reported in runners than walkers, as reported often by the Inquisitr, most true avid runners say they wouldn’t give up the sport nor the “runner’s high” for the world.

In fact, running releases dopamine and endorphins, which are natural pain killers and “feel good” chemicals. Perhaps that’s why many with depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and other painful conditions turn to the exercise that lets you hit the open road or the treadmill with minimal skill level. All you need is will and perseverance — endurance comes as you continue to run.

For Beth Markesino, the world became quite bleak when she suddenly began suffering from agonizing pain that would shoot through her face. After finding a correct diagnosis, trigeminal neuralgia, Beth learned that the pain came from the trigeminal nerve, which runs down the side of the human face, according to hcplive. For unknown reasons, some people have severe inflammation and pain with this nerve, and she was one of them. The 35-year-old mother from Wilmington, North Carolina, was diagnosed in 2005. Her first attack came on suddenly on a perfect October afternoon. From that day forward, they became relentless, and her life became misery.

“It stops you dead in your tracks. For a while there, I would avoid all of the things that would set off an attack. I wasn’t living at all.”

She underwent surgery replace the protective sheath around her trigeminal nerve that doctors discovered had worn away because two arteries and a blood vessel had wrapped around it, according to Runner’s World. The surgery helped briefly, but the pain came back. She didn’t like the way pain medications made her feel. Then, she gave birth to a daughter, and decided to take up running to lose the extra weight. What she didn’t realize is that running actually is the best treatment for trigeminal neuralgia she has found.

“When I run, I fight again, and I’m my old self before Trigeminal Neuralgia. I still get attacks, but I work through them. Trigeminal neuralgia is called the ‘suicide disease’ because so many people commit suicide because of the pain. I hate that nickname and want it erased because I don’t want anyone to feel like that’s the only way out. I want people to see me and know that I’m in pain but see that I’m still able to run. Every marathon I run, I dedicate to the trigeminal neuralgia community.”

[Photo by Beth Markesino]