Trigeminal Nerve Blocks

A trigeminal nerve block is an injection of medication that is used to treat pain in the face, such as trigeminal neuralgia, shingles, or other chronic facial conditions. Sensations in the face, including the ability to bite and swallow, are made possible by the trigeminal nerves. Blocking the trigeminal nerves are an effective way to stop facial pain. 

Step One

Before the procedure begins, the patient will receive an intravenous medication for relaxation while lying on their back. 

Step Two

A thin needle with an anesthetic is inserted into the side of the face. An x-ray device called a fluoroscope will help guide a second needle to inject a steroid medication. 

Step Three

Most trigeminal nerve block procedures last less than 30 minutes. Patients can go home the same day, although they should refrain from driving and strenuous activities for the remainder of the day. Pain relief may be immediate, but longer relief usually takes up to three days. Most people require a series of injections to maintain pain relief.