Trigeminal neuralgia or ‘TN’ is a chronic pain condition affecting the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head. Type1 or TN1 causes extreme, sudden burning or shock like facial pain that may last from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode.
These attacks can occur in quick succession or in length lasting as long as two hours. The Type2 or TN2, is characterized by constant aching, burning, stabbing pain of somewhat lower intensity than Type 1. Both these forms of pain may occur in the same person, sometimes at the same time. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally disabling.
The indicator to Trigeminal Neuralgia is a varying pain depending on its type. It may be sudden, severe, and stabbing to a more constant, aching, burning sensation. The pain may affect a small area of the face or may spread.
The treatment options for TN are medications, surgery to complementary approaches. Medications may include anticonvulsant medicines to tricyclic antidepressants and opioids in some cases. Rhizotomy or rhizolysis, balloon compression, glecorol injections and radiofrequency thermal lesioning are again a few options for invasive procedures. Complementary approaches include yoga, disciplined life style, acupuncture, upper cervical chiropractic, biofeedback, vitamin therapy, and nutritional therapy.