Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve in the face.
The Trigeminal nerve carries sensation from the face to the brain. It is a progressive pain condition meaning it can start out as random mild attacks and develop into bouts of extreme pain. For patients experiencing trigeminal neuralgia putting on make up brushing teeth or washing your face can become extremely painful. Studies have found that this condition is more common in women and people over 50 years of age.
The disruption of nerve functioning, also known by the name tic douloureux, is often caused by contact between the nerve and a vein or artery; however, multiple sclerosis and tumors have also been known to cause this type of pain.
How is it treated?
It is always best to come prepared when visiting your pain specialist. Make note of what triggers your pain and where on your face the pain occurs. You may be referred to pain management following a visit with a neurologist.
Our interventional pain management specialists have successfully performed trigeminal nerve ganglion blocks to reduce TN pain. Call your nearest pain clinic to learn more.
In severe cases your pain specialist may refer you to a neurosurgeon for further treatment, such treatments may include:
- Stereotactic radiosurgery (includes Cyberknife)
- Microvascular decompression