Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux

This is an article about a pathological disease known as “Tic Douloureux” related to neurology of the brain. This post has everything related to this disease & it will tell you what to do if you have this disease.

What is ”Tic Douloureux”

Tic Douloureux” neuralgia is a severe pain to only one side of the face.  It is considered one of the most painful conditions. It stems from one or more branches of the nerve that supplies sensation to the face, the trigeminal nerve.

The pain usually lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes.  There is no pain or numbness between attacks and no abnormality of the muscles of the face. It may be so intense that you make shrinking movement involuntarily, hence the term tic.

Causes of “Tic Douloureux

The most common theory is compression or cutting of the trigeminal nerve, usually by a blood vessel or by any accident, causing it to become irritated.  The irritated nerve then erratically fires pain impulses.This irritation causes the outer covering of the nerve to erode over time.

The basic medical cause of tic douloureux is unknown. There are a number of theories as to why the trigeminal nerve supplying to the face is affected.

It may be caused in men during shaving the beard as it is present superficially on the skin. But the cause can vary according to the condition of the patient.

Tic Douloureux” Symptoms:

Because the second and third divisions of the trigeminal nerve are the most commonly affected. The pain is usually felt in the lower half of the face.The main symptom of tic douloureux is a sudden, severe, stabbing, sharp, electric-shock-like pain on only one side of the face.

Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux” Diagnosis:

The diagnosis is made based on the description of the pain and physical examination of the facial pain.

The pain is unique. A history of bursts of shooting pain in one side of the face will give the doctor good clues to the cause of your pain. Additionally, other causes of facial pain such as a sinus infection, dental infection, or a jaw disorder, such as Temporo-mandibular joint, can often be found by physical examination.

The physical examination is normal in tic douloureux. If numbness, decreased hearing, dizziness, visual changes, or dysfunction of the muscles of the face is found, then other disorders may be considered.

Special X-ray images, such as a CT scan or MRI  of the head, can look for other causes of facial pain. They can also help delineate tumors that might be pressing on the nerve and irritating it.

When to see a doctor?

You should call your doctor when the prescribed medications are not controlling the pain, or if you develop some new symptoms.”Tic Douloureux” is a pain-only syndrome, the development of new symptoms may warrant additional evaluation.

Go to a hospital’s emergency department if you experience symptoms such as fever, redness of your face, or dizziness.


Sadly, It can never be prevented.

Tic Douloureux

Tic Douloureux

Treatment of “Tic Douloureux“:

Self-Care at Home:

Treatment should be guided by a physician. In most cases, effective treatment will require only medications. Uncommonly, surgery will be recommended. The role of the doctor is to ensure the diagnosis, begin appropriate therapy, and coordinate any potential need for consultants.

Medical Treatment:

The primary treatment of tic douloureux is medication to control the factor that cause pain. Surgery may be necessary when drug therapy is not showing it’s effects.


The most frequently prescribed anticonvulsant medication for tic douloureux is carbamazepine. Oxcarbazepine and lamotrigine may also be effective. Common side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, double vision, and nausea. Rarely, serious liver or bone marrow problems can occur.
Baclofen,  may be useful for some people who either do not respond to anticonvulsants or who suffer serious side effects.

Medication is  partly effective for most people who suffer with tic douloureux. Drug therapy either fails to provide adequate pain control or adverse side effects are intolerable.


When pain cannot be controlled with medication, surgical options should be discussed with only a neurosurgeon. The more complex procedures provide longer-lasting pain relief but with greater potential for more serious complications.