This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Trigeminal neuralgia is a nerve disorder that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face. The pain lasts a few seconds to a few minutes, and usually on only one side of the face. It can also cause muscle spasms in the face the same time as the pain. The pain may result from a blood vessel pressing against the trigeminal nerve (the nerve that carries pain, feeling, and other sensations from the brain to the skin of the face), as a complication of multiple sclerosis, or due to compression of the nerve by a tumor or cyst. In some cases, the cause is unknown. Treatment options include medicines, surgery, and complementary approaches.
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