Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain ReliefBefore reaching for your ordinary painkillers, there are some things you need to consider when looking for trigeminal neuralgia pain relief. Take a look below to find out more.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a painful chronic condition affecting the trigeminal nerve. If you suffer from this condition, you want quick relief from the intense burning, stabbing, and aching pains in your face. Below are some of the factors you need to consider so that you are using the correct treatment to get fast, effective relief. Consult your doctor to get the correct treatment for you.

 

Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain Relief

Treatment for TN pain includes the following:

Avoid Triggers

Prevention is better than cure. Attacks of trigeminal neuralgia can sometimes be triggered or made worse by certain factors:

  • The wind may cause an attack so it’s advisable to wear a scarf around your face in windy weather. A draughty room may also be a trigger so avoid sitting near open windows or close to air conditioning.
  • Hot, spicy food and cold food or drink can also be triggers. Use a straw to drink warm or cold drinks and avoid eating hot foods; wait till they cool down.
  • Certain foods such as caffeine, citrus fruits, and bananas can trigger attacks in some people, so it may be best to avoid them.

 

Medication

Over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are not effective in treating trigeminal neuralgia. Consult your doctor to see what kind of medication you need.

  • Anticonvulsant drugs and muscle relaxants are prescribed to block the pain signals from the nerve.
  • Approximately 80% of sufferers get short-term pain relief with medications.
  • For effective pain relief, the medication must be taken regularly to maintain a constant level in the blood.
  • Like all medication, the drugs used to treat TN have side effects. Your doctor will routinely monitor you and you’ll have regular blood tests to ensure that the drug levels remain safe and effective.

Anticonvulsant Drugs

  • The most common treatment for trigeminal neuralgia is anticonvulsant drugs. They are usually used to treat epilepsy but they can help relieve nerve pain by slowing down electrical impulses in the nerves and reducing their ability to transmit pain.
  • Carbamazepine (Tegretol) is the usual initial anticonvulsant medication treatment. Carbamazepine often causes side effects, which may make it difficult for some people to take.
  • Oxcarbazepine (Trileptal), gabapentin (Neurontin), phenytoin (Dilantin), lamotrigine (Lamictal), and pregabalin (Lyrica) are also used.
  • Your doctor may prescribe one or more anticonvulsants until he finds the one that works best to manage your pain.
  • Anticonvulsant medications can lose their efficacy over time as they build up in the bloodstream. If this happens, your doctor may change your prescription.

Muscle relaxants

Your doctor may prescribe these alone or along with anticonvulsants.

Baclofen (Lioresal) can be useful alongside an anticonvulsant, particularly in patients with TN related to multiple sclerosis.

 

Needle Procedures & Surgery

With trigeminal neuralgia, medication may become less effective over time. If that happens, there are needle and surgical treatment options. Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is right for you, taking into account your overall health, which nerves are involved, and your preferences.

The aim of treatment is to stop the blood vessel from compressing the trigeminal nerve or to cut the nerve to prevent it sending pain signals to the brain.

Procedures include:

 

Other Treatments

There are other ways to help you manage the pain of trigeminal neuralgia. These include:

Although these other techniques can help relieve the pain and stress caused by TN, it’s important to take the medications prescribed by your doctor. These strategies are useful as complementary therapies, used alongside traditional treatments.

Trigeminal Neuralgia is a chronic and painful condition. The good news is that there are a variety of treatments available from your doctor.  First line treatment is medication. If these fail to control your pain or cause side effects, there are other options available. Trigeminal neuralgia pain relief includes not only medication but also surgery, needle procedures, and radiation.