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How To Diagnose Trigeminal Neuralgia & What Is The Best Medicine For It?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a nerve disorder of the face that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. Also referred to as facial pain, is caused by inflammation of one of the three parts of the fifth cranial nerve and also caused by tumors. It is sometimes described as the most excruciating pain known to humanity.

You may initially experience short mild attacks however over a period of time progresses more frequently resulting in agonizing pain. The reason for the intense pain is due to the nerve irritation and damage. This condition is noticed more in cases of women than men and it affects individuals who are more than 50.

Due to the widespread developments and invention with regard to the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, patients no longer need to live with the life of pain. Instead, your healthcare professional can effectively manage the conditions and suggest you with the right course of medication and treatment.1

How To Diagnose Trigeminal Neuralgia?

How trigeminal neuralgia is diagnosed? Trigeminal Neuralgia diagnosis is based chiefly on the patient’s history and description of symptoms, besides with results from physical and clinical trials. Your description could be the guideline for the treatment.

Diagnosing the condition based on the type of symptom:

  • It can be based on the location because basically trigeminal neuralgia is noticed on the fifth cranial nerve.
  • When you encounter pain even with the mild simulation such as eating and talking.2

Your healthcare provider can diagnose the disease using simple tests. Here are some the few

Neurological Examination- Your medical history will tell everything about your symptoms even before you require to undergo a neurological examination of your head and neck. The ears, mouth, teeth, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are usually tested for problems that are leading factors of causing facial pain. Your tests can tell which nerve is affected by this condition. In addition to this, the reflex tests also tell whether you are inflamed due to compressed nerve or some other condition.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging- MRI is the imaging modality of choice and they are often recommended for the initial screening practice in the evaluation of patients with trigeminal neuralgia. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with and without contrast helps to identify ancillary factors of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) from the idiopathic form. During some cases, your doctor may inject a dye into the blood vessels and arteries to determine whether there are any clots in the blood.3

What Is The Best Medicine For It?

There are several effective ways to alleviate the pain, including a variety of medications, surgery and complementary approaches.

  • Anticonvulsants- Carbamazepine medicine remains the benchmark standard, but a number of other medicines have been used for a long time and with fair achievement in trigeminal neuralgia. Anticonvulsant medicines condense the nervousness of Gasserian ganglion neurons, counteracting abnormal releases and volleys of pain.
  • Antispasmodic Agents- Muscle relaxing medicines along with carbamazepine are used to lessen or block the pain.
  • Surgery- Trigeminal neuralgia surgery is exclusively for patients who still suffer from unbearable pain although they underwent the finest clinical treatment. The surgical options for trigeminal neuralgia include peripheral nerve blocks, needle procedures followed by microvascular decompression. Neurosurgery is commonly more beneficial in those patients with paroxysmal instead of patients with constant pain whose pain follows the anatomic distribution
  • Microvascular Decompression- This procedure involves relocating or removing blood vessels to stop the nerve from malfunctioning.
  • Brain Stereotactic Radiosurgery- It directs a focused dose of radiation to the root of your trigeminal nerve. This is successful in eliminating pain for the majority of people.4


There are also other procedures that are used to treat trigeminal neuralgia to reduce pain and facial numbness. When you have symptoms with regard to this, make an appointment with your primary health care provider and get treated immediately.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 11, 2019

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