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"My girlfriend is 44 and suffered a mild stroke 2 weeks ago. What could be causing her pain?"

ZocdocAnswersMy girlfriend is 44 and suffered a mild stroke 2 weeks ago. What could be causing her pain?


my girlfriend is 44 suffered a mild stroke 2 weeks ago from medication given to her for weight loss. She has had every test that could be given, but she is still having pain through out her entire body sometimes shes unable to move. Please share what could be causing her pain and discomfort?


Refractory pain symptoms following a stroke can be an indicator that your girlfriend is suffering from what is called central pain syndrome. In order to determine if this is in fact the underlying cause of her pain, it is important that she sets up an appointment to see a neurologist, so that he or she can completely review her case, perform a physical examination, and run any tests that are indicated. Central pain syndrome used to be called thalamic pain syndrome, because people who have strokes in the area of the brain called the thalamus often experience significant pain following the stroke that persists and is very resistant to treatment. However, other areas of the brain regulate pain within the body, so having a stroke in any of these areas can lead to residual and debilitating pain symptoms. Based on the description you provided, it seems as though your girlfriend may be suffering from central pain syndrome, which resulted from her stroke. In terms of treatment, there are a number of medications that can be helpful. Opiate pain killers are not very effective, because they last briefly and can be addictive. However, if the pain is very severe, these may need to be used for a short time. More effective medications that treat neuropathic pain, such as amitriptyline, SSRI medications, gabapentin, and pregabalin may also be helpful. Thorazine (chlorpromazine) was traditionally used to treat this condition, although this medication does have a significant side effect profile, so it has fallen out of favor over the years. However, it is still an option. If medications do not work to treat her pain, there are also surgical options, such as electrode stimulator implantation or spinal cord stimulator implantation. Again, in order to adequately evaluate for whether your girlfriend is suffering from central pain syndrome and how to effectively treat it, it will be important for her to schedule an appointment to see a neurologist.

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