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The Dialectic of Pain: Synthesizing Acceptance and change

Dr. Deborah Barrett offers a framework and tools to help people improve their quality of life, just as they are, while also reducing pain and suffering. Her work draws from empirically based cognitive and behavioral interventions, and she practices what she preaches every day.

We thank the FPA for the great work they are doing publishing webinars in this field.

Watch the webinar here

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4 What to Do When Your Surgeon Says There is Nothing Left to Do

FACIAL PAIN: A 21st CENTURY GUIDE 4 What to Do When Your Surgeon Says There is Nothing Left to Do For People with Trigeminal Neuralgia Neuropathic Pain By Jeffrey A. Brown, MD (USA) You think you will have a microvascular decompression (MVD), but there is no compression. Your pain returned after your MVD, and your doctor […]
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Webinar – Prof Arun Aggarwal- presenting to the emergency department for pain management

When Trigeminal Neuralgia pain is too much: presenting to the emergency department for pain management

In July 2022 we were delighted to host a webinar chaired by A/Prof  Liam Caffery and presented by Prof Arun Aggarwal

Professor Arun Aggarwal is a highly experienced neurologist with expertise in chronic pain management.

Professor Aggarwal graduated from the University of Adelaide in 1987 and went on to specialise in neurology, rehabilitation medicine and pain medicine and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Australasian Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, and the Australasian Faculty of Pain Medicine.

Professor Aggarwal completed his PhD at the University of Sydney on motor neuron disease. He currently oversees a number of research trials at the University of Sydney’s Medical School including trials on trigeminal neuralgia and chronic neuropathic pain.

Professor Aggarwal sits on the on the Medical Advisory Board of Trigeminal Neuralgia Association.

In this webinar he will speak on “When trigeminal neuralgia pain is too much: presenting to the emergency department for pain management”

You may download the presentation with this link Acute Pain Management for Trigeminal Neuralgia - A/Prof Arun Aggarwal

Our Association is working hard to provide clearly understood information, not only to our sufferers but to the medical and dental profession.  We thank all who logged in to watch the webinar live and they had the opportunity to ask questions and receive replies.

We would like to thank our Medical Advisory Board Members for the work they do and the advocacy they provide to all sufferers.  Contact details for our MAB members can be found here


012 – YouTube TNAA – Prof Arun Aggarwal – When Trigeminal Neuralgia pain
is too much Presenting to the Emergency Department

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3.6 CyberKnife: Should I Be Treated by It?

FACIAL PAIN: A 21st CENTURY GUIDE For People with Trigeminal Neuralgia Neuropathic Pain 3.6 CyberKnife: Should I Be Treated by It? Dr. Jeffrey A. Brown, Neurosurgeon A CyberKnife® is a registered trademark term, like Xerox or Coca-Cola, to describe a device that has nothing to do with cyberspace or sharp blades. CyberKnife describes a robot, […]
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Factors that may affect recurrence of trigeminal neuralgia after percutaneous balloon compression

Most sufferers with trigeminal neuralgia have heard of the surgical treatment, Microvascular Decompression (MVD for short), but fewer know about percutaneous balloon compression.

I can speak from first-hand experience of both procedures, and of the success with the latter. That is, I remain pain and medication free after five and a half years since a simple and fast balloon compression procedure crushed my trigeminal nerve.  But I have always wondered and worried that the pain may return. To date I am extremely happy with the situation as are others I know who have undertaken this procedure.

The article ‘Factors that may affect recurrence of trigeminal neuralgia after percutaneous balloon compression’, was researched and written by Wenming Lv,  Wenjing Hu, Lingyi Chi, and Liangwen Zhang and published in Journal of Clinical Neuroscience Volume 99, May 2022, Pages 248-252, can be read here

If you are considering asking for a Balloon Compression procedure, be aware there are risks and side-effects and that your research should be thorough. You need to trust that your neurosurgeon has considerable experience with this procedure, and has informed you of all aspects.

One of the possible side-effects about which I was warned, was that I might have some or a lot of facial numbness on the affected side of my face.  I did have numbness on half an eyelid, half my nose and half the top of my upper lip. In the above article the finding was that numbness, on average, disappeared around three years.  That is about right for me, although on rare occasions in the past couple of years I have a sense of it in my upper lip and nose.  I am delighted to report that the numbness never caused my face to slump or change and has never been visible, it has always been mild, and it has never inconvenienced me.  Having said this, each person is different and the results for another could be dramatically different – so please gather all information from a knowledgeable professional if considering this.  For me, losing the pain and reliance on medication was worth some numbness. I was fortunate to be able to reclaim my life.

Helen Tyzack

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How to Handle Facial Pain in Public

Coping with pain in public is a subject that our sufferers deal with constantly

The Facial Pain Association has great resources and publish regular articles.   The following article was published by them in  Aril 2021 and  provides great coping tips 

How to Handle Facial Pain in Public

Facial pain can make even the most routine outings no longer seem fun or meaningful. But going out can help you maintain your normalcy, which will help you to distract yourself from the pain. And with the warmer weather, there can be many more opportunities for such distractions. Below are tips on how to deal with pain in public, so that you can still enjoy yourself while out with family, friends, a significant other, or by yourself.

Know when to go out  


Know what causes your attacks and know how to recognize when is a good time to stay in and when is a good time to go out

Barometric Pressures 

Fluctuation in the barometric pressures can cause swelling, which can cause increased irritation to the nerves which could lead to an attack

Force yourself to go out 

This can be beneficial for your mental state. By surrounding yourself with good friends or family, you are distracting yourself from facial pain attacks. Creating memories that don’t have to do with the pain can be called upon when you are suffering and need to escape. In addition, positive environments create positive thinking- and we all know the power of the mind.

Alone or with someone? 

Know your limits- if you know that going out may cause an attack and you don’t want people to see you like that then opt to go alone. If you know that you want the support in case of an attack, bring a loved one. Having someone with you can distract your mind and then you won’t have time to worry about an attack (the mind is a powerful thing!)

Coping Mechanisms

When you are out, being able to draw on some simple coping mechanism can alleviate your anxiety about the possibility of a pain flare, and if you should have one, these exercises can be very helpful:

Calming breaths

  • Eight count breathing
  • Take a breath through your nose over an eight second span
  • Hold this breath for an eight count
  • Let out the breath through your mouth slowly over eight seconds
  • Repeat 8 times

This helps to calm your mind and relax your muscles.

Pressure point

The skin between your thumb and pointer finger is a pressure point. Locate it by pressing the thumb against the index finger. The point is located at the highest spot in the bulge of that muscle. Applying pressure to this point helps to calm your body and mind. Warning: do not try this if you are pregnant.

Whatever works at home 

If you have successful strategies for coping with the pain when you’re at home, don’t hesitate to try these when out. These could include:

  • Heat- carry a hand warmer usually used while skiing in your bag that you can use if needed
  • Essential oils or pepper cream- if you find these to help you, carry a small vial/tube in your bag.

Excuse Yourself

If you feel uncomfortable letting others know you are having pain and don’t want to draw attention, these are some tricks for excusing yourself without drawing attention:

  • Say you have to use the restroom. This leads to a quick and easy exit and no one will think anything of it.
  • Silently get up and go for a walk (works well in large groups). A large group has so much going on already that your sudden absence won’t be noticed by all. Those who notice should know why you left.
  • Take a sip of water (can be useful if opening your mouth doesn’t bring on pain. This can cause a momentary lapse in conversation and it can allow you to calm your body.
  • Offer to go grab something (anything at all).  This allows you to leave the situation without seeming out of the ordinary, you then can take as long as you need to return (don’t forget the said object you offered to go get).

How do you say no? 

  • It is always okay to say no. You know your body better than anyone else and therefore you should make the executive call.  Those who care about and love you will respect your decisions.
  • Usually a gentle way of saying no will go over best- for you and for the person involved.
  • Using a gentle tone and way of wording will keep you relaxed which won’t aggravate your facial pain.
  • If you’re calm,  the other person will be too; they will want to know you’re alright and by speaking calmly, you can better give the message that you are indeed fine you just need to take it easy.
  • Sometimes you may not feel like you have a choice – a family or loved one expects you to go out.
  • Understand loved ones are trying to help when they force you to go out. This won’t be your favorite thing to hear a loved one say, but sometimes tough love is the best way to see that they care about you. They only want the best for you and to see you enjoy life- they are only trying to help you

Link to Original Article

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Member Story – Gay Roberts

I am happily married with a beautiful supportive family and four grandchildren.  Before retiring I was a legal secretary.  My interests are walking on the beach, home interiors, reading, fashion and cooking. Regarding my Trigeminal Neuraliga story I first noticed a burning sensation/stabbing pain in my top lip in about April 2013.  My GP quickly […]
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A Personal Story – Living with Trigeminal Neuralgia

It is so important we hear from people who suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia who are willing to share their personal stories

I came across this story in twitter, written by David Flint with a career and all the usual distractions of daily life






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Chronic Pain – Learning to Pace

We are all very different in the way that we individually tackle chronic pain, and the effect that has on all aspects of life.

This article was written for the website and it contains great insight on working to create a better way to live with chronic pain


4 Things To Remember When Pacing For Chronic Illness, Fatigue Or Pain

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TNA Australia Webinar – Dr Ben Jonker

TNA Australia are delighted to provide the recording of Dr Ben Jonker’s presentation covering

“Which Procedure Should I Have For Trigeminal Neuralgia”

The Association has committed to create four educational webinars a year and we are delighted the members of our Medical Board are providing their expertise to help all sufferers of Trigeminal Neuralgia navigate their diagnosis and treatment.

The opportunity to work in the digital space has been provided by a grant to support our work in a Tele Health capacity, by The Cromwell Property Foundation and we acknowledge their generosity

Dr Ben Jonker is a member of the Associations Medical Advisory Board and you can read more about him using the below link

Central Neurosurgery | Dr Benjamin Jonker | Home