Pain Management for Patients Suffering from Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disease marked by extreme pain and muscle spasms in the face. Sudden spikes of intense, electric shock-like facial pain can occur or get triggered by touching particular areas of the face. When the trigeminal nerve, which is located in the face, becomes irritated, a sudden spike of intense pain results. Trigeminal neuralgia is a serious complication because it interferes with the essential aspects of a person’s life. Typical trigeminal neuralgia involves short instances of acute pain, like an electrical shock in one side of the face. This pain comes in renewed waves that last for a few hours. The patient first experiences short, mild attacks, with periods of reduction. But according to doctors providing trigeminal neuralgia treatment in Ahmedabad, trigeminal neuralgia can progress, leading to longer and more frequent attacks of searing pain.
trigeminal neuralgia treatment in ahmedabad

Symptoms of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Patients describe an attack as a sensation of pins or needles pricking that turns into a burning pain, or as an electrical shock that can last a few seconds or minutes. Everyday activities can trigger such episodes. Some patients experience more sensitivity in particular areas of the face, called trigger zones, which when touched cause pain to reappear. These areas are usually near the nose, lips, eyes, ear, or even inside the mouth. Therefore, a number of patients avoid talking, eating, or drinking.

The pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia usually has the following features:

  1. Affects one side of the face
  2. Can last for a number of days or weeks, followed by a reduction for months or even years
  3. The frequency of the attacks increases with time and can become disabling.

A more uncommon form of the disorder, called atypical trigeminal neuralgia, causes less intense, constant or aching pain. This pain usually occurs as electric shock-like stabs that may typically last a day.

Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia

A number of treatments are available for treating patient with trigeminal neuralgia, including medication, needle procedures, surgery, and radiation. The first line of treatment offered by pain management doctors in Ahmedabad is through medication. Anticonvulsants, such as carbamazepine (Tegretol), lamotrigine(Lamictal), oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), phenytoin (Dilantin), gabapentin (Neurontin), and pregabalin (Lyrica) are used to control trigeminal neuralgia pain. Muscle relaxants, like baclofen (Lioresal), are also sometimes effective in treating trigeminal neuralgia.

When medications are not sufficient to control pain or cause intolerable side effects, a neurosurgeon may be consulted to discuss other procedures.