Facial Pain and Trigeminal Neuralgia Care

As any Pain Doctor will tell you, pain from “trigeminal neuralgia (TN), typically involves the lower face & jaw, although sometimes it affects the area around the nose & above the eye. This intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain, is caused by trigeminal nerve irritation, which sends branches to the forehead, cheek & lower jaw. It usually affects one side of the face” [1]

Did You Know?

TN can easily be triggered by a simple action such as:

• Brushing your teeth
• Eating
• Drinking hot or cold liquid
• Lightly touching your skin
• Washing your face
• Shaving your face
• Blowing your nose
• Putting on facial makeup
• Talking
• Smiling
• Standing or walking in a light wind [1]

The Low-Down

Trigeminal neuralgia attacks can be short and mild, yet if left untreated, this condition can become progressively worse. To that end, it is essential to book an online or in-person appointment with a Pain Specialist as soon as possible [1].

The pain experienced by a sufferer might be centred in just one spot; or it could radiate across their face. Generally speaking, TN is only prevalent on one side of the face, yet there are exceptions. For example: TN is sometimes linked with multiple sclerosis, and in such instances, sufferers could experience pain on both sides of their face [1].

Putting a Spotlight on Pain Areas

These regions include:
• Cheeks
• Forehead
• Jaw
• Lips
• Gums
• Teeth
• Eyes [1]

Getting an Accurate TN Diagnosis

Receiving an accurate diagnosis from a Pain Doctor who has studied and specialised in the field and practise of pain medicine, is absolutely essential. This is because in the majority of cases, when compared to a Pain Consultant, GPs only have a rudimentary knowledge of the different pain categories. This is a world apart from the former who have served and gained years of experience in the Pain Management departments of well-know hospitals and clinics.

Pain Doctors, such as those at renowned The London Pain Clinic, are always abreast of state-of-the-art research on the most promising and innovative treatments. Moreover, once a Pain Specialist has reviewed a patient’s medical history and given them an accurate diagnosis; they will then draw up a Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan that they can get started on right away. This may include multiple proven treatments including nerve stimulation and injectables, as well as the latest cutting-edge pharmaceuticals and topical ointments/creams.

So What TN Treatments & Care Are on Offer?

There are a number of non-surgical treatments for trigeminal neuralgia pain relief. These comprise:

• Various different types of pain relief medication (such as anticonvulsant drugs). Your Pain Doctor is likely to give you a small dose to begin with, and then they will see how you fare from there. For example, they may feel that you could benefit from a higher dose, or a different drug/s. Of note: if a patient has too many side effects from the drug/s; or the medication is not sufficiently effective, the Pain Specialist may consider other options. These include:
• Topical treatment which is applied locally
• Botox injections
• Peripheral Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS) treatment

Note, in some cases of chronic TN, should non-surgical options not been successful, then the Pain Doctor may recommend surgery. But this is a last resort. These days, there is a broad range of successful non-surgical options, and in many instances, the Pain Consultant puts people on a Personalised Treatment Plan with a combination of concurrent treatments. – This is aimed to achieve optimum results.


[1]. American Association of Neurological Surgeons (2024). “Trigeminal Neuralgia.” https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Trigeminal-Neuralgia