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Trigeminal Neuralgia (Facial Nerve Pain) (cont.)

Exams and Tests

Your doctor must rule out a variety of other causes of facial pain besides trigeminal neuralgia, including various unusual forms of headache.

  • Atypical neuralgia
  • Myofascial pain
  • Temporomandibular facial pain
  • Cluster headaches
  • Local disease in the sinuses, jaw, throat, and bones of your head
    • Physical examination of the head will help define other possible causes of this painful syndrome. Physical findings in people with trigeminal neuralgia are normal.
    • A doctor should complete an initial neurological examination to determine the presence of other conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, that are associated with nerve pain syndromes like trigeminal neuralgia.
    • Doctors reserve more extensive testing, such as a CT scan or MRI of the head, for people in whom they suspect an associated condition, such as skull or brain tumor, infection, or neurological condition.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/12/2014
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Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a common and potentially disabling pain syndrome, the precise pathophysiology of which remains obscure.

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