Wednesday, March 22, 2006


A woman called this a.m., frantic with the sudden onset of pain up the back of her head, show-stopping, stabbing, tears-to-the-eyes pain. She'd tried ibuprofen, midrin, Maxalt, and Vicodin without relief. My best guess? The awful cough with her current cold (I'll bet most of you have had one of those this year) twisted her skull out of alignment with her neck, squashing the greater occipital nerve as it exits the spinal cord and goes up the back of the head. As a result, this nerve was basically seizing with pain in nauseating waves.

Lyrica is a fairly new medication approved for nerve pain associated with diabetes and shingles. She took a 50 mg. capsule at my office, and 45 minutes later was nearly pain-free.

This from the Lyrica web-site:
If you are feeling numbness, tingling, pins and needles, burning, sharp, stabbing, or shooting pain, you may have nerve pain.

Nerve pain is different from other types of pain you may feel, such as pain from a muscle ache or a sprained ankle, which may be sore, achy or throbbing, and go away after time.

And common medicines that may work for muscle pain have not been clinically proven to work very well for this type of pain.

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