What is Trigeminal Neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a continuing pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve. This cranial nerve is one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head and, with TN, it is being compressed and causing the nerve to fire frequently and painfully. These intermittent episodes can cause extreme bursts of sudden burning or shock-like facial pain.

Lesser manifestations may produce aching, burning, and stabbing pains. This condition can be quite debilitating because events are re-occurring and can also become more progressive over time. TN can occur at any age but is more common in people over 50. TN is a considered a chronic pain condition and may require the intervention of a pain management specialist.