Reno Pain

Facial Pain

Best Facial Pain Doctors in Reno, Sparks and Carson City, Nevada.

Facial Pain

Facial pain is a common occurrence that could result from an injury or a headache. It’s normally an acute response, meaning that it is caused by a singular situation and the symptoms don’t last for very long. However, there are times when facial pain becomes chronic and is the result of a medical condition that requires more in-depth treatment. If you are dealing with chronic facial pain that has taken a toll on your daily life and activities, there are solutions. The Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists in the Reno, Sparks and Carson City areas can help to resolve your symptoms and treat the cause, with the goal to avoid facial pain in the future. 

What is Facial Pain?

Facial pain is any pain that is felt in any part of the face, including the mouth and eyes. While there are many conditions or causes that can lead a person to experience facial pain, the most common include: 

  • Neuropathic
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Atypical pain

Dental problems, such as an abscess, toothache or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJ) issues can also lead a person to experience facial pain. 

Neuropathic Facial Pain

Neuropathic facial pain involves the nerves in the head. While there are many nerves in the head, the two main nerves that are found to cause most of the neuropathic facial pain issues are the trigeminal nerve and the sphenopalatine ganglion. 

The trigeminal nerve has three different branches of nerves that run through the face, including the lips, inside of the mouth, the forehead, and cheeks. Any inflammation or irritation of any part of these nerve branches can lead to trigeminal neuralgia. Pain symptoms, which usually affects one side of the face but can be felt on both, tend to come on suddenly and could be caused by the simplest of acts, such as brushing your teeth or applying makeup. The trigeminal nerve is the main nerve responsible for headaches and migraines. 

The sphenopalatine ganglion is another bundle of nerves that is located directly behind the nose. It is most commonly linked to facial pain that is felt in the front of the face. It carries information about sensation, including pain, and also plays a role in autonomic functions, such as tearing and nasal congestion.

Inflammation or irritation to the occipital nerves can also lead to occipital neuralgia. This pain generally begins at the base of the head and spreads along the scalp on one or both sides of the head.

Atypical Facial Pain

There is generally no known cause of atypical facial pain. This type of pain is most commonly felt on one side of the face, with symptoms that could last for days on end. Diagnosis usually involves excluding common causes of facial pain. 

It’s important for a pain management specialist to determine which nerve or nerves are causing your particular type of facial pain so that the most effective treatment can be used to resolve the symptoms. 

What Does Facial Pain Feel Like?

Symptoms of facial pain depend on the cause of the facial pain. However, most common sensations include: 

  • Burning
  • Tingling
  • Throbbing
  • Sharp or dull pain
  • Electric pain
  • Numbness
  • Tenderness

Pain can affect one or both sides of the face, and can come on suddenly. Pain can also be triggered by certain events, such as loud noises and bright lights, or by a traumatic event that causes inflammation in the affected nerves. 

How is Facial Pain Treated?

Most pain management specialists will recommend a comprehensive approach to most effectively treat symptoms. Common treatment methods include: 

  • Over-the-counter medications: taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have proven helpful for treating symptoms of pain and providing immediate relief
  • Comfort therapies: utilizing hot and cold treatment methods are helpful for reducing painful symptoms
  • Prescription medications: if the pain is neuropathic facial pain, antidepressants and anticonvulsants are used to help relieve pain caused by damaged nerves. Migraine medications can also help to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks as well as a reduction of duration. It’s important to note that opioid medication is no longer used for the treatment of chronic facial pain. 
  • Splints: this treatment option is most often used for TMJ pain as it repositions the jaw, which alleviates pain and soreness
  • Nerve blocks: when conservative methods have failed to provide long-term relief, an injection of medication into the affected nerves has proved helpful. In addition, they can help to diagnose the cause of pain because if the block was a success, then the provider knows that particular nerve was the cause of pain. The most common nerve blocks include trigeminal nerve blocks, occipital nerve blocks and sphenopalatine ganglion nerve blocks. 
  • Injections: injections of steroid into the joint can help relieve pain associated with TMD, as well as help patients who suffer from trigeminal neuralgia. Botox has also proven helpful for relieving painful migraine symptoms. 
  • Neuromodulation: addressing the damaged nerves specifically can help to provide long-term relief. A spinal cord stimulator and a peripheral nerve stimulator, both of which use a mild electrical current to disrupt pain sensations from being sent to and received by the brain, are helpful neuromodulation tools for treating pain that hasn’t responded to conservative methods. 

It is also helpful to learn what triggers lead to your specific headaches or pain sensations so that you can work to avoid them. If your eyes get tired from staring at a computer screen, make sure to take regular breaks. If loud music or super bright lights always make your face and head hurt, then avoid those situations. However, if the pain becomes chronic, you’re experiencing the symptoms more often than you feel is normal, or at-home treatments aren’t helping to provide relief, it’s time to see a trained pain management specialist who can diagnose and treat your specific cause of pain. 

The Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists in the Reno, Sparks and Carson City areas understand just how debilitating facial pain can be, and are well equipped to help all patients find much needed relief. Please schedule an appointment with one of our team members today.

Your comprehensive treatment plan will help you eliminate chronic pain and get you back into a healthy life.

Imagine if chronic pain wasn’t holding you back every day. We believe you should be treated the way we would treat our own mom or dad which is how we have treated our patients for the past 15 years.

Just follow this simple plan:

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At Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists, we know that you want to get back to living a pain-free life. To do that you need a pain management team you can trust. The problem is there are so many pain clinics that do not listen to you and treat you like a statistic which makes you feel frustrated.

We understand your pain and suffering. We believe you should be treated the way we would treat our own mom or dad which is how we have treated our patients for the past 15 years.


So, request an appointment today. And in the meantime, watch this patient success story. So, you can stop struggling with pain and instead get back to living your life again.

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If you suffer from chronic pain, contact us today. We can help you get back on your feet with your personal comprehensive treatment plan.