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facial pain - may be trigeminal neuralgia

rene rene at MINET.CA
Sun Jun 11 14:30:52 EST 1995

My best friend suffers of the most horrible facial pain - for months at a time.
I attach below a description of his symptons, as explained by him.
Anybody with any ideas ?

                    FACIAL PAIN
"For the past 42 years, I have suffered of two distinct types of
headaches.  Although the pattern constantly evolved over the years,
the classical migraine with its usual symptoms prevailed over the
first three decades, while in the past six years a new pattern of
facial pain has developed that alternates with the classical

Typically, I now get several episodes of facial pain a year.  These
episodes invariably affect the right side of the head and can last
up to 15 weeks at a time without any relief.  The symptoms are very
clear cut and include unbearable non-stop pain around the eye, along
one side of the nose, on the upper and on the lower jaw as well as
behind the ear.  The pain radiates down to the shoulder blade and
sometimes will run the length of the arm, the right hand and the leg.
No medication (analgesics, anti-inflammatory or others) usually help
or even allays the pain which, one day, relents as unexpectedly as it
had set in.

During these episodes, I am likely to get once or twice a week a 
classical migraine headache-always on the left side of the head-which
will last 24 to 36 hours only and during which the facial pain will
be almost totally overshadowed.

Obviously, I have been seen and evaluated by many doctors and
specialists who have run the whole spectrum of tests, without finding
any definite link or cause to the pain.

I also had surgery to relieve a blocked sinus and although it had not
been expected that there was any connection with the pain, it was
disappointing that no relief ensued.

Physiotherapy, acupuncture, neck massages, psychotherapy, have not
provided any benefit either, nor did a round of intravenous Dihydro-
Ergotamine treatments over several days of a hospital stay".
Anybody with an idea ?

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