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Trigeminal Neuralgia

The trigeminal nerve runs from the skull and then branches into three divisions, supplying feeling to the forehead, the cheek and the lower jaw. Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a disorder of this nerve that causes shooting pain to one side of the face in one or any combination of these three areas.

One of the most common causes of facial pain, trigeminal neuralgia usually comes on suddenly with brief, severe, stabbing pain on one side of the face that typically subsides after several seconds or a couple minutes but can recur hours or even weeks later. Some patients experience an aching or a tingling sensation prior to the pain attack. The pain attacks can occur on both sides of the face but not at the same time, and they typically worsen over time, occurring more frequently.

Symptoms

  • Severe
  • Shooting facial pain spasms on one side
  • Extra sensitivity in the areas affected so that minor stimulation (light wind, washing the face, eating, shaving or cold temperature) can set off an attack

Causes

Inflammation, virus, blood vessels outside the brain pressing on the nerve, multiple sclerosis.

Treatment

Your physician may order an MRI scan of the brain to assist with diagnosis. We will work with you to create a treatment plan to meet your specific needs. Possible treatments include medication, injection, peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) and spinal cord stimulation (SCS).