Trigeminal neuralgia is a pathologic condition of the trigeminal nerve (cranial nerve V) that causes intermittent, electrical shock-like pain on one side of the face. The affected side of the face is typically very painful to touch.
What causes it?
Trigeminal neuralgia has many causes, including trauma (painful post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy), nerve impingement, and can occur after a herpes zoster infection. Other nerves innervating the face and neck can also cause pain and neuralgia, such as occipital neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, and auricular neuralgia.
How can it be treated?
Treatment for trigeminal neuralgia starts with conservative measures, including physical therapy and medication management. If the pain does not decrease in intensity, trigeminal nerve blocks, radiofrequency ablation, peripheral nerve stimulation, or other surgical procedure can be performed.