faqs of facial pain

what is facial pain?

trigeminal neuralgia treatment

An ache that begins in the region of a person’s face is called facial pain. It is similar to a headache yet it can be extremely painful and sharp. There are several triggers for a facial pain but the actual source of that pain might be hard to locate. Because of this difficulty in identifying the exact cause for the pain, treatment for this condition proves extremely difficult.

Facial pain could take place at various locations on the face including area surrounding the eyes, nose or mouth. There may also be facial pain that is localised to the bottom half of the face like a jaw line and mouth.

In case there is no corrective action taken, this pain can become recurrent. The amount of pain that the individual suffers can be a low, throbbing pain, a piercing pain or a tingling pain as a result of injury to the nerve. It is often observed that the ache becomes continuous and does not go away unless it is attended to.

what causes facial pain?

The causes of facial pain can be several, but the main cause appears to be through migraines that then get transferred to the facial region, tooth problems like TMJ that were not treated and nerve related facial pain such as trigeminal neuralgia.

Even though identification of the actual cause of the pain is not easy, treatment should be targeted at assessing the main reason for the pain and to help alleviate the symptoms. Facial pain could be detrimental to a person’s well being and may render them unable to perform normal day to day activities if left untreated.

what treatment plans help with facial pain?

  • Possible Nerve blocks: One treatment that has been found to have some success with lowering the pain experienced is called nerve blocks. In this procedure, needle is put in certain spots on a person’s face to stop that particular nerve from responding to the pain. This procedure may therefore be useful in reducing the pain.
  • Trigeminal block: The trigeminal block is a kind of nerve block and it is used to desensitise the facial skin. In this procedure, a special needle is used to prick one part of the patient’s face with the help of X-rays. This procedure is normally used to identify the exact source of the pain. In case the patient responds well to this treatment and the pain decreases, an electrical charge is then administered using a radiofrequency cure method so that pain is relieved for another 3 to 6 months (Napenas, et al., Br Dent, 2011).
  • Some Ganglion block: In certain cases, the pain only reduces through the use of sphenopalantine ganglion type of block. In this procedure, a swab is placed within the nostril so as to block a certain set of nerves. This procedure has been known to relieve pain for a short time and can be repeated if results are favourable so as to continue to keep such a feeling of pain at bay. Use of this method of treatment has been effective in the following conditions:
    • Atypical facial form of pain
    • A Head as well as neck cancer type of pain
    • Possible Acute as well as Cluster Headaches
    • Possible Acute as well as Cluster Headaches
    • Herpes zoster type of pain ( also known as shingles)
    • TMJ Pain ( also known as Temporomandibular Joint)
    • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (also known as CRPS)
    • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (also called RSD)
    • Sluder’s Neuralgia
    • Vasomotor rhinitis
  • Supraorbital and Supratrochlear block: In this procedure, a needle is inserted in the eyebrow to desensitise the skin on the eyebrow as well as forehead. This nerve block permits pain doctors to identify the exact cause of the pain. As in the case of other nerve blocks, such type of procedure provides only temporary relief but helps to identify the cause of the facial pain. This therefore makes treating the pain much easier.

how is injury-related facial pain best treated?

In non-trigeminal facial type of pain, the individual undergoes facial pain because of trauma caused to the face. In this condition, the patient needs to be administered a mix of the following types of treatment:

  • Pain medication
  • Nerve block cure
  • Therapy as well as rehabilitation
  • Surgery as the last resort

Facial pain could hamper a person’s way of life and prevent them from performing the simplest of activities with ease. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you consult a pain doctor who can help relieve you of the symptoms of this condition.

how is atypical facial pain best treated?

In atypical facial type of pain, there is facial pain that is caused through trigeminal neuralgia. Also, this pain is a dull, throbbing pain that can be chronic in nature. The individual may experience searing or piercing pain on the face. This could be caused by sinus or tooth surgery or a facial injury.

Atypical type of facial pain usually is managed on an individual basis as each case needs to be treated independent of the other, based on the symptoms the patient exhibits. While some individuals can be treated with success using conservative methods like medication or therapy, other patients need nerve blocks that can help reduce the pain.

In extreme situations of some facial pain, surgery or radiation may be used to treat the condition as it helps to relieve the symptoms. You can consult your trusted pain doctor who will be able to guide you on remedies for such facial pain in case the symptoms interfere with your daily functioning.

what is the prognosis of facial pain?

The best way to heal facial pain is by narrowing down the exact cause of the pain. Any signs or symptoms should not be ignored as these may be vital clues to figuring out why the pain is being caused. Migraines ans well as TMJ can cause facial pain yet can also be treated, so that the individual no longer has to suffer in silence.

Your pain doctor can help you in adopting the right pain management strategy for your condition. In case anti-inflammatory medicines as well as steroid injections do not work, you can use other methods to help alleviate the pain that you feel so that you can get your life back to normal.

If you know anyone suffering with this condition, help is at hand. Just contact the Nevada Pain Network today.