Trigeminal neuralgia

Fothergill's disease

What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition in which a person experiences sudden and severe facial pain.

What causes trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal neuralgia is thought to be caused by the trigeminal nerve, which provides sensation to the face, becoming compressed. In most cases this is due to pressure on the trigeminal nerve close to where it enters the brain stem. This is known as primary trigeminal neuralgia. It can also be caused by other conditions, which is known as secondary trigeminal neuralgia, including:

  • A tumour
  • A cyst
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Facial injury
  • Damage caused by surgery

What are the symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia?

The main symptom of trigeminal neuralgia is attacks of sudden and severe facial pain. These attacks usually affect only one side of the face and last from a few seconds to two minutes.

Are you affected by trigeminal neuralgia?

If you’re affected by trigeminal neuralgia, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with trigeminal neuralgia, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with trigeminal neuralgia from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with trigeminal neuralgia

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with trigeminal neuralgia? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including trigeminal neuralgia, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity’s library has a range of resources on trigeminal neuralgia and on many other disability-related issues.

Visit our library to read:
Trigeminal Neuralgia by NHS.
Trigeminal Neuralgia by Pain Relief Foundation.
Trigeminal neuralgia: An overview by Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK.
Or search the catalogue online here.

Support groups

Chronic Physical Pain & Mental Health Support for all in the UK

A Facebook group that provides an opportunity for those living with any type of chronic pain to share their experiences.

Northamptonshire Chronic Pain Support (NCPS)

A Facebook group in which those who live with chronic pain can communicate with each other, share information, provide support and build friendships.

Phone: 07534494830


Support groups at The Brain Charity

Are you interested in setting up a trigeminal neuralgia support group, or do you already run one? Email to let us know.

Alternatively, you can check out our list of related support groups here.

Other charities

Trigeminal Neuralgia Association UK

aims to provide information, support and encouragement to those affected by the condition.
Phone: 0800 999 1899

Pain UK

Pain UK is an alliance of charities that provide support for those living with pain.

The Pain Relief Foundation

Funds research into the causes and treatments of chronic pain.
Phone: 0151 529 5821