What Is Trigeminal Neuralgia?
This is a type of facial pain which is also known as “tic douloureux.” It is a chronic pain condition that affects the nerves in the face, particularly the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is responsible for carrying the sensation from the face to the brain. People with this condition say that the pain feels like an electric shock and can be jolting and excruciating at times. Luckily, there are trigeminal neuralgia treatments available nowadays.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Symptoms
At the onset, the pain comes in short and mild attacks. However, if left untreated, the condition can progress into longer and frequent bouts of searing to excruciating pain. The pain may even be triggered by mild movements like brushing the teeth. This chronic pain condition is common among people older than 50.
The most common symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is having brief periods of jolting, stabbing and searing pain. Some people describe it as feeling like an electric shock. This symptom alone gives one an idea how uncomfortable and painful it is to have such condition. The pain is usually triggered when you touch your face like when you brush your teeth, shave, wash your face or even put on a makeup.
Other symptoms include the following:
- The pain lasts for a few seconds to minutes.
- The pain attacks occur several times a day if the condition has progressed. Some patients experience the pain for only several times a week. There are even pain-free periods, but that does not mean that the condition is gone.
- The pain affects one side of the face only.
- Over time, the attacks happen more frequently and become more painful.
- The parts of the face most affected by the pain are the lips, gums, teeth, jaw and cheek.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Causes
The primary cause of trigeminal neuralgia is pressure on the trigeminal nerve as a result of a contact with a vein or blood vessel. The pressure causes the nerve to malfunction, hence, the condition. It can occur in people with multiple sclerosis or as a result of aging. Tumors that press on the trigeminal nerve can also cause this condition.
Other causes of trigeminal neuralgia include facial trauma, stroke, surgical injuries and brain lesion.
Trigeminal Neuralgia Treatments
So what causes this chronic pain condition and are there available trigeminal neuralgia treatments? Yes, there are available treatments. As to the cause, the most common causes are the following:
- There is an irritation in the trigeminal nerve, which could be caused by a blood vessel pressing on it.
- The nerve can also be injured by an accident or stroke.
- Certain diseases like multiple sclerosis or a tumor can cause this condition.
Here at AZ Pain and Spine Institute, we provide pain management solutions for trigeminal neuralgia. We use cutting-edge technology and state-of-the-art facility in treating people with trigeminal neuralgia who suffer from bouts of pain. Depending on various factors such as the severity of the pain and the condition of the person, we provide specific or a combination of available treatments.
If you are suffering from facial pain, it’s not the end of the world for you. There are various trigeminal neuralgia treatments available. The condition can be effectively managed by certain medications, surgery or injections. Here in Arizona Spine and Pain Institute, we can manage and treat your pain. Make an appointment today.