Trigeminal neuralgia is a long-lasting painful condition that involves the trigeminal nerve, fifth cranial nerve that is responsible for sensations in the face and other structures of the head. Patients with trigeminal neuralgia may undergo extreme, abrupt burning or shock-like face pain. The pain may continue for a few seconds up to 2 minutes per episode.
Trigeminal neuralgia may be caused due to damage of the myelin sheath, a protective layer around the nerve; by compression induced by a blood vessel or tumor, disease conditions such as multiple sclerosis or as part of the normal ageing process.
Current treatment alternatives for trigeminal neuralgia include medications, injections, surgery and other corresponding methods.