Diagnosing Craniofacial Pain

Through a diagnosis of chronic craniofacial pain, it means trigger points are the primary source of pain symptoms. Unfortunately, craniofacial pain can mimic a variety of other conditions—part of the reason diagnosis has often been so difficult. Let’s take a look at the diagnosis of craniofacial pain:

A Diagnosis

As stated previously, a diagnosis of chronic craniofacial pain means that trigger points are the primary source of pain symptoms. And, since craniofacial pain can often mimic a variety of other conditions, symptoms may be incorrectly attributed to:

  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD)
  • Fibromyalgia

Similarly, a medical provider may mistakenly overlook a craniofacial pain diagnosis if a patient is also suffering from another pain-causing condition such as the ones listed above. For these reasons, and the fact that craniofacial pain is a poorly understood disorder, a chronic craniofacial pain disorder can be a difficult condition to diagnose.

During a physical examination your doctor might ask a number of questions to help diagnose the underlying condition, including the following questions:

  • Does your job or hobbies require you to perform repetitive tasks?
  • Have you recently been injured?
  • What symptoms are present?
  • What areas are experiencing the most pain?
  • Do symptoms become worse during a certain time of day?
  • Do symptoms become better or worse as a result of anything?
  • How long have symptoms persisted?
  • Are symptoms continuous or intermittent?
  • Are any activities limited by symptoms?

Contact Dr. Amanda Juarez of Sweet Dreams Sleep Solutions for more information on craniofacial pain and how you can find relief from your pain.