Trigeminal Neuralgia

Trigeminal Neuralgia is classified as a disorder that causes episodes of intense pain (sharp, and electrical) in parts around the face.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Intense facial pain that lasts anywhere from several minutes to hours
  • Pain is often unilateral and is described as sharp, electrical pain
  • Brushing teeth, eating, and light touching around the face may trigger the pain


  • Pressure on the trigeminal nerve due to inflammation
  • Multiple Sclerosis may be the cause for some cases

Assessment and Observation:

  • Observation: Client will show signs of intense facial pain (holding the cheek with hand)
  • Positive Special Test: Trigeminal Reflex Test

Goals of Treatment:

  • Decrease overall pain and pressure on the trigeminal nerve
  • Decrease hypertonicity and contractures of surrounding tissue
  • Promote relaxation (slow rate is required)


  • Deep pressure techniques may cause flare ups

Treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia:

  • Hydrotherapy (warm towel) over the face
  • Superficial fascial work to the face and neck
  • Slow rate Effleurage/Petrissage to promote relaxation
  • Trigger Point Release (Frontalis, Suboccipitals, Zygomaticus, Temporalis)
  • Peripheral Joint Mobilization to jaw and cervical spine

Remedial Exercise:

  • Passive angular and static stretches for mandibular elevator muscles