Seminars in Neurology
1996 Mar, 16: 1, 63-74
Wesselmann U; Reich SG
Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.
The "dynias" are a group of chronic, focal pain syndromes with a predilection for the orocervical and urogenital regions. They include glossodynia, carotidynia, vulvodynia, orchidynia, prostatodynia, coccygodynia, and proctodynia. In some cases, the dynias occur secondarily, but more often, despite an exhaustive evaluation, no etiology is found and in these remaining cases, the cause of the pain remains enigmatic. The controversy that surrounds this group of disorders, which ranges from questioning their existence to suggesting that they are purely psychosomatic, is counterbalanced by an extensive literature attesting to their organicity. The approach to the patient begins with acknowledging that the symptom is well described, searching for a secondary cause, and performing a careful psychologic assessment. Treatment is empirical and patients can often be helped with medications used to treat neuropathic pain, all the while providing psychologic support and exercising caution toward invasive and irreversible therapeutic procedures.