Trigeminal Neuralgia

WHAT IS TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA?

woman with trigeminal neuralgia

Many people live day-to-day with disruptive pain in the face, head, jaw, and neck. There can be numerous causes for this type of pain, whether it is acute or chronic. However, for those who have received treatment for more common causes of facial or cranial pain such as TMJ, migraines, or teeth grinding – without relief – there may be something more at work.

 

While there is not one singular cause of trigeminal neuralgia, often issues arise where there is pressure placed on the trigeminal nerve by arteries, veins, or other tissues adjacent to the nerve at the base of the brain. Whether this pressure is a result of trauma, the aging process, a tumor, or a degenerative condition like multiple sclerosis, it often results in nerve malfunction and the accompanying pain.

Symptoms

Patients suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia typically have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain often feels like a “jolt” or a “shock”
  • The pain may last for a few seconds or a few minutes
  • Episodes tend to increase in severity and become more pronounced over time
  • Pain commonly affects one side of the patient’s face at a time. However, in rare cases, pain can occur on both sides during an episode
  • Attacks are usually spontaneous, but some patients might identify triggers such as oral hygiene practices, touching of the face, talking, or eating
  • Some patients report a chronic or constant ache or burning in the affected area

Treatment

Your surgeon will review and explain your options for treatment that may include both non-surgical and surgical options, depending on your specific symptoms and medical history. Common treatment options include:

 

Medications and Injections

Procedures

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