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Trigeminal Neuralgia

A chronic pain that affects the trigeminal nerve in the face

What is Trigeminal Neuralgia? This condition is caused by misfiring of the trigeminal nerve, which can cause shooting pain and unusual sensations in the face.


About the Trigeminal Nerve

The trigeminal nerve consists of a dense bundle of nerve tissue, called the trigeminal ganglia that is located near the base of the brain, which then branches into the three sections to the upper, middle, and lower parts of the face. These branches sense touch, pressure, temperature, and control the chewing muscles.

Symptoms

Pain can be felt consistently or as flashes of pain. TN pain flashes may last from a few seconds to a few minutes, and can be triggered by some type of contact with the face. Brushing teeth, applying makeup, shaving, eating, talking, or being exposed to wind can all trigger an episode. People describe the pain as a sudden burning or an electric shock, typically felt on one side of the face.

Causes

There are several reasons that patients may develop TN. An artery, vein, or tumor in the face can compress the nerve, causing it to misfire. An autoinflammatory nerve disease or viral infection, such as shingles, can also damage the nerve and lead to the condition.

How to Treat Trigeminal Neuralgia

TN pain can be debilitating. Your NSPC provider can provide nonsurgical solutions, including: oral medication, nerve blocks, Trigeminal ganglion pulsed radiofrequency and radiofrequency, and peripheral nerve stimulation. Depending on the reason for TN, a referral to a neurosurgeon may be appropriate.

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