Stroke Pain

A stroke keeps blood from reaching the brain and leads to brain tissue damage. About 10% of people who experience a stroke eventually develop severe pain that is called post-stroke pain, central pain, or thalamic pain (after the part of the brain typically affected).

The onset and character of this pain is highly variable. It can arise days or years after the stroke, can arise after a major or a minor stroke, and patients describe the pain they feel in many different ways including (but not limited to) burning, aching, and prickling. Many different body parts can be affected, including the face, arm, leg, trunk or even an entire half of the body.

Common characteristics are that the pain is constant (although there is also often an intermittent stabbing component), and is more likely to occur if the stroke occurred in the right side of the brain. The pain usually gets worse over time and can sometimes be aggravated by temperature changes or movement.

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