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’s 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.


Using TENS therapy for Face pain

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.

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

How to use ActivBody for face pain

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User Guide

Please read the User Guide that comes with your TENS machine.


Pad placements - face and jaw pain

The objective is to place the pads either side of the spot where your face or jaw pain is at its worst. The signal passes from one electrode to the other, therefore passing through the site of pain.

These are examples only. Please phone us if you need further advice.

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We recommend the small circular pads illustrated in these photos. They are called Facial Electrode Pack (FEP), and though not standard in the ActivBody kit, they are available for separate purchase.


Mode, Intensity, Time and Repeat frequency - Face or Jaw pain

Please click the image for more information.