Trigeminal Neuralgia is a neuropathic disorder which causes brief episodes of extreme shooting pain in the face. This chronic condition is caused by a misfiring of the Trigeminal nerve. The Trigeminal nerve consists of a thick root at the base of the brain and 3 branches that extend to the face. These branches sense touch and control the chewing muscles.
Trigeminal neuralgia, or TN, has been described as one of the most painful conditions known to mankind. TN usually occurs when an artery or vein compresses the root of the nerve causing it to misfire. The nerve can also be irritated by a tumor or other disorder.
Flashes of pain are often a result of some kind of contact to the face like brushing teeth, applying makeup, shaving, eating, talking or even wind. A TN attack can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and is typically described as a sudden burn or shock usually only felt on one side of the face. This is an incredibly intense sensation which can often be physically debilitating.
Trigeminal neuralgia is oftentimes misdiagnosed usually because a sufferer will often seek the help of numerous clinicians before the correct diagnosis is made. TN is often confused with TMD. TN is not easily controlled but can be managed through a variety of treatment options including medication, various types of surgical procedures and a radiology procedure called Stereotactic radiosurgery or gamma knife.
Many believe that the earlier TN is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat. For a diagnosis or consultation on treatment options for TN, contact The Franklin Pain and Wellness Center.