What is Facial Pain?
Facial pain, also known as orofacial pain, occurs in approximately 10% of the adult population. Facial pain is defined as pain in the face, mouth, or jaw.
Facial pain disorders are caused by a large group of conditions with diverse etiologies, symptoms, and treatment approaches. Due to the high complexity of facial pain disorders, misdiagnosis and mismanagement are common in the medical field. Therefore, it is critical that you seek care from a pain specialist.
At Modern Pain Consultants, we will perform a careful history and clinical examine to focus in on the root of your facial pain. In some cases, we can offer same day, selective diagnostic procedures to confirm your diagnosis.
Facial pain can be divided into neuropathic (originating from a nerve) and non-neuropathic pain.
Neuropathic facial pain
Neuropathic facial pain is the result of tissue or nerve injury. Some of the most common neuropathic facial pain conditions include: trigeminal neuralgia, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, occipital neuralgia, and postherpetic neuralgia.
Neuropathic facial pain presents with intermittent, startling, stimulating, electric, sharp, or burning pain. A detailed assessment of the location of the pain is vital to identifying the nerve etiology. Everyday activities such as grooming, eating, or talking can trigger severe and incapacitating episodes of pain.
Non-neuropathic facial pain
Non-neuropathic facial pain conditions include headaches, Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TJM), infectious processes, and dental concerns.
Facial Pain Treatment
Treatments for facial pain include medications such as anti-inflammatories, anticonvulsant (gabapentin or lyrica), antidepressants (cymbalta), and opioid-like medication. In combination with medication, there are several intervention treatment modalities available for facial pain.
Intervention pain management procedures available for facial pain include:
- Botox Injections for chronic migraines
- Occipital Nerve Blocks / Neurolysis for occipital neuralgia (pain in back of head)
- Supraorbital Nerve Blocks / Neurolysis for supraorbital neuralgia (pain in front of head)
- Trigeminal Nerve Blocks / Neurolysis for trigeminal neuralgia (severe facial pain)
- Sphenopalatine / Gasserian Ganglion blocks for trigeminal neuralgia (severe facial pain)
- Cervical Medial Branch Neurolysis for cervicogenic headaches
The correct etiology of facial pain can be difficult to identify due to over-lapping symptoms of numerous conditions. At Modern Pain Consultants, our teams’ expertise and competency will ensure an accurate diagnosis, facilitate treatment decisions, and provide successful outcomes.