The official description of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is: “sudden, severe, brief, stabbing pain occurring in attacks lasting at the most a few seconds usually only on one side of the face and provoked by light touch”. It is “the worst pain known to man” and attacks are often described by patients as being like ‘an electric shock’, which may be severe enough to rivet them to the spot or bring them to their knees. The pain can also be described as stabbing, shooting, burning, excruciating, and unlike any other pain previously experienced.
The pain attacks may last for a few seconds or occur in “volleys” — multiple bursts of pain in quick succession — lasting several minutes. The pain, often triggered by just a light touch to an area of skin, can strike at any time and without warning. Frequency of attacks can vary from a few times a month to several times each day depending on the severity of the condition. Unfortunately, for most sufferers, the condition is progressive and will worsen over time. Although to date there is no guaranteed cure for the condition, there are several treatments which can give relief.
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