What is a Trigeminal Nerve Block?
A trigeminal nerve block is an injection that can be used to treat trigeminal neuralgia, a type of severe facial pain. Trigeminal neuralgia is caused by damage to or pressure on the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for transmitting facial sensations to the brain. People with this condition may experience facial muscle spasms, facial paralysis, or pain upon touching the face. Injecting medication into the nerve can help treat pain.
To perform the injection, your doctor will use an x-ray to guide the needle. Medication such as anesthetic (numbing medicine) and steroids will be injected into the side of your face. Typically, the procedure is completed within a half hour, and you may return home the same day following the injection. Depending on the individual, the injection can provide instant pain relief, or it may require a few days before taking effect. Multiple nerve block injections may be needed to prolong the effects of the medication.