A Face in the Crowd: Trigeminal Neuralgia and Atypical Facial Pain

Trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux, is 1 of the most debilitating disorders known and has been described as the most excruciating pain that humans may experience. This very intense pain results from irritation of the trigeminal nerve, which branches across the forehead, cheek, and lower jaw.  It may have a specific pathophysiology and it does have a primary order of treatment. Atypical facial pain is very different, not a cranial nerve neuropathy, and must be differentiated from trigeminal neuralgia. We will discuss these differences as well as other cranial nerve neuropathies, their diagnoses, and treatment paradigms.

Learning Objectives

  • Differentiate trigeminal neuralgia from others causes of facial pain
  • Cite the differences in pathophysiology of facial pain diagnoses
  • Summarize the diagnostic characteristics these diagnoses
  • Compare treatment options

Additional Information

Tarsus Medical Education
State Relevance: 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Jennifer Robblee, MD MSc FRCPC

Barrow Neurological Institute

Phoenix, AZ


Contracted Research (Principal Investigators must provide information, even if received by the institution): Eli Lilly site principal investigator (no payment)


  • 1.00 AANP
  • 1.00 ACCME (All Other)
  • 1.00 ACCME (MD/DO Only)
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AANP Contact Hours
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy
  • 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.00 ANCC
  • 1.00 APA
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