All the patients of facial pain, who come to us, ask first question i.e. what is the meaning of Trigeminal Neuralgia? So we thought let’s talk about it first.
What is Neuralgia or Nerve pain
Neuralgia is a sharp, burning and severe pain that occurs along a damaged nerve. The damaged nerve may be anywhere in the body, but is most common in the face and neck. The cause of a damaged nerve may be a disease like multiple sclerosis, diabetes (diabetic neuropathy) or an infection like shingles, or it could be a part of aging. Treatment for this kind of nerve pain of neuralgia depends on the cause.
What is Trigeminal Neuralgia
There are twelve cranial nerves that directly connect to the body. These nerves are involved with the muscle and senses of the head and neck. 5th cranial nerve is called the trigeminal nerve, because it has three (tri) branches responsible for face sensation and chewing.
The ophthalmic branch (V1), The maxillary branch (V2) and The mandibular branch (V3).
All responsible for different areas on face.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is intense, random, sudden, sharp shooting or electric shock like facial pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed – lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw.
The pain episodes last from a few seconds to as long as many minutes. These attacks can occur in rapid sequence or constant hurting, burning, sharp pain of somewhat lower strength.
More than one nerve branch can be affected at the same time. Usually it happens on one side of the face. It can occur at any age.
Click on neuralgia to know about other type of neuralgias or nerve pain.
Causes of Trigeminal Neuralgia
It can be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve as it exits the brain, which prompts the wearing away or damage to the protective coating around the nerve. It is a kind of inflammation of trigeminal nerve. Multiple sclerosis is one of the causes. In many patients there may not be any specific cause for it, known as idiopathic.
You need to call Trigeminal neuralgia doctor if any of these symptoms of Trigeminal neuralgia is present
- Intense burst of pain, set off by vibration or contact with the cheek such as when shaving, washing the face, or applying makeup, brushing teeth, eating, swallowing, drinking, talking, or being exposed to the wind.
- Avoiding social contact and daily activities such as eating and talking because of fear of pain attack.
- Shielding your face trying to protect it from being touched.
- The attacks often worsen over time, with fewer and shorter pain-free periods before they recur.
Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia
We often start the treatment with medications, like carbamazepine, other anticonvulsants and tricyclic antidepressants medicines.
You need to call trigeminal neuralgia specialist.
If you are suffering from trigeminal neuralgia pain and medications are proving ineffective in treating the pain or the side effects of the medicines becoming intolerable.
Interventional Pain and Spine Centre, Delhi, India, with its branches (contact) at Rohini, Ashok Vihar, Punjabi Bagh, Pitampura, Dwarka, Paschim Vihar (Delhi) and Rohtak (Haryana) is the most advanced spine & pain clinic to treat trigeminal neuralgia without any major surgery and with minimally invasive, pinhole techniques. You can meet the best trigeminal neuralgia doctor in Delhi at our centre. In 80 % cases major brain surgery can be avoided.