Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a disorder of the trigeminal nerve and is a form of neuropathic pain. The trigeminal nerves are located on either side of the face, between brow and jaw. TN causes episodes of intense, stabbing or excruciating pain in the areas of the face where the 3 major branches of the nerve are distributed.

The attacks of pain are episodic and intermittent:

  • They may last seconds but be repeated one after the other
  • They may come and go
  • They may last for days, weeks, or months - followed by remission

TN is associated with a variety of conditions, e.g.

  • It can be caused by a blood vessel pressing on the trigeminal nerve
  • Symptoms can occur in people with deterioration of the trigeminal nerve‚Äôs outer coating
  • Injury to the nerve can sometimes occur after sinus or oral surgery, stroke or facial trauma
  • Symptoms of TN may be caused by nerve compression

Other chronic face pain

There are many conditions that can cause chronic face pain, e.g. Persistent idiopathic facial pain, Atypical odontalgia, Burning mouth syndrome.

Always consult your medical or dental practitioner if pain is persistent.


ActivBody TENS therapy

After a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia or other chronic face pain, your pain management plan will include several methods of pain relief and should offer drug-free options such as TENS therapy as well as medication.

TENS analgesia may be used as a short term pain relief mechanism when you first get a toothache, while you await your dental appointment.

If the cause of your face pain is stress related or exacerbated by stress, then TENS therapy may be of assistance. You can place pads on your face, brow, bottom of neck, shoulders, cervical spine or wrists.

ActivBody is the TENS machine we suggest for chronic or acute pain of the face or jaw

ActivBody electrotherapy can be used everyday - outside the clinic - for drug-free, on-demand pain relief, relaxation and circulation.

  • RELIEVE mode:
    • Fast and lasting pain relief (modulated low and high frequency TENS; continuous, comfortable intensity)
    • Circulation and reduced stiffness (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)
  • BLOCK mode:
    • Fast acting pain relief (modulated high frequency TENS for pain gating effect)
    • Release of serotonin, if applied for long enough
  • RELAX mode
    • Lasting pain relief (modulated low frequency TENS for release of beta-endorphins)
    • Relaxation (modulated low frequency TENS for release of beta-endorphins)
    • Circulation (modulated low to medium frequency ECS; continuous, low intensity)

Pad placement - face or jaw pain

 facial pain electrode placement
 facial pain electrode placement
 facial pain electrode placement

Settings for Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency

Everyone has a different level of skin resistance; therefore we cannot specify an exact intensity setting for you. Simply choose a level of intensity where you can feel the stimulation but ensure it is below a level of discomfort. See the table below for examples.

Muscles should not twitch or spasm. So long as you avoid muscle twitching, you cannot overdose.

Purpose ModeIntensity TimeHow often
Acute pain BLOCKMedium 30 minutesas required
Chronic pain RELIEVELow to medium Minimum 60 minutesas required
Nagging pain RELIEVELow Overnightas required
Relaxation RELAXLow Minimum 2 hoursas required
Circulation RELAX or RELIEVELow 60 minuteswhen practical
TENS machine trigeminal neuralgia

Pain page links


ActivBody Complete TENS Kit
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