Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve—one of the largest nerves in the head. The trigeminal nerve sends impulses of touch, pain, pressure and temperature to the brain from different areas of the face, including jaw, gums, forehead and eyes.
In trigeminal neuralgia, the trigeminal nerve’s function is disrupted.
Trigeminal neuralgia can also be caused by a tumor compressing the trigeminal nerve.
Trigeminal neuralgia affects women more often than men, and it’s more likely to occur in people who are older than 50.
Trigeminal neuralgia can occur as a result of aging, or it can be related to multiple sclerosis or any disorder that that damages the myelin sheath that normally protects certain nerves.
In some cases, the cause of trigeminal neuralgia is unknown.
Trigeminal neuralgia symptoms generally include one or more of the following patterns:
- Occasional twinges of mild pain
- Episodes of severe, shooting or jabbing pain that may feel like an electric shock
- Spontaneous attacks of pain triggered by everyday acts, such as touching the face, chewing, shaving, speaking, smiling and brushing teeth
- Pain affecting one side of the pain at a time
- Pain attacks general last several seconds, may repeat in quick succession, and come and go throughout the day
Trigeminal neuralgia can be diagnosed through a combination of a thorough understanding of the patient’s medical history as well as a neurological examination. Other testing may include:
- Trigeminal reflex testing
- Blood tests
At PMIR Medical Center, we understand that pain is a complex condition that affects the whole person—body, mind and spirit. We provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to treatment, customizing the most effective treatment plans for our patients and empowering them to become a collaborative partner in their recovery process.
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia can vary from patient to patient. We offer trigeminal neuralgia treatment options that include:
We specialize in non-medication-based therapies to help our patients achieve sustained pain relief. However, we do offer pain medication, when necessary, as a supplement to other treatment options.
We may also recommend complementing your treatment at PMIR with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) options that include:
- Chiropractic care
To learn more about how we treat trigeminal neuralgia and the treatment plan that might be best for you, schedule an appointment with a PMIR physician today.