Few conditions cause more intense pain than trigeminal neuralgia. The experienced team at Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine in Birmingham, Alabama, offers the very highest standard of care, helping you or your loved one find relief from experts you can trust. Begin your journey today by booking an initial visit online or by phone.
Your trigeminal nerve begins in your brain and then branches into two parts, one on each side of your face. These two sides then further divide into three branches, delivering sensation throughout all areas of your face.
When any portion of the trigeminal nerve becomes irritated, it causes significant pain. Any compression or irritation of the nerve tissue leads to trigeminal neuralgia. Often, this develops due to a blood vessel creating pressure or damage to the nerve as it exits your brainstem.
Signs of trigeminal neuralgia can develop seemingly out of nowhere, catching you off guard. In other cases, a traumatic injury like a car accident or a form of facial trauma initiates symptoms.
Pain is the primary symptom of trigeminal neuralgia. This discomfort usually begins around the upper or lower jaw, but it can spread to other areas of the face. There are two different types of trigeminal neuralgia pain.
Type 1 creates sensations of throbbing, stabbing, burning, or shock-like pain and often comes in cycles with periods of relief in between. These cycles can become more closely spaced or more intense over time.
Type 2 creates sensations of burning, aching, and sometimes stabbing pain. These symptoms tend to be ongoing with little relief.
All trigeminal neuralgia symptoms can be triggered by something as simple as a light touch. Brushing your teeth, turning your head, smiling, speaking, or any other movement can bring on symptoms.
Medications might play a role in your treatment path. This approach is effective for many people, but all medications carry a risk of side effects, and not everyone is a good candidate for drug therapy.
Surgery offers another option if you can’t achieve sufficient pain relief through medication. Microvascular decompression is one approach that works by inserting small pieces of padding material to create a degree of separation between your trigeminal nerve and the blood vessel responsible for creating pressure.
Stereotactic radiosurgery relieves the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia by delivering precisely targeted volumes of ionizing radiation to the trigeminal nerve root. This creates controlled damage to the nerve, interrupting the pain signals that run from your brain to your body.
If you have questions or concerns about trigeminal neuralgia, call Alabama Neurological Surgery & Spine to schedule a consultation. Online booking is also an option and takes just moments.