The nervous system contains nerves throughout the body that send and receive electrical signals from the brain. Without this feature of human anatomy, movement, sensation, and involuntary bodily functions would not be possible. However, when the nervous system overacts, it can cause extreme pain in certain areas of the body. In those who suffer from trigeminal neuralgia, the trigeminal nerve is affected due to compression at the brainstem.
Understanding the Trigeminal Nerve
In order to fully understand trigeminal neuralgia, it is important to know what the trigeminal nerve does. This nerve is responsible for providing sensation to the face, and it is rooted in the brain stem. Actions including talking, chewing, and swallowing are all linked to the trigeminal nerve, so trigeminal neuralgia can severely impair your ability to function.
In severe cases, the pain felt from trigeminal neuralgia is excruciating for the patient. Pain may be triggered by external factors such as touch or sound, or it can occur on its own. Normally, painful sensations from this condition are isolated to one side of the face, and they are not treated by pain medication.
Pressure on the nerve might be attributed to a swollen blood vessel or tumor, and these conditions will not be resolved without medical treatment. Other neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis can also be responsible for trigeminal neuralgia, so it is important to work with a skilled neurosurgeon when seeking treatment. Your options for treatment may vary depending on your unique circumstances, but they typically include surgery, radiofrequency lesioning, and radiation therapy.
If you are suffering from trigeminal neuralgia, visit HW Neurological Institute. Our doctors are nationally recognized for the treatment of this condition, and we offer the latest techniques to resolve it. Find out more about our Nashville practice on our website or by calling us at (615) 320-0007.