Facial Pain

Atypical facial pain (AFP) is a type of chronic facial pain which does not fulfill any other diagnosis.  There is no consensus as to a globally accepted definition, and there is even controversy as to whether the term should be continued to be used. Both the International Headache Society (IHS) and the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) have adopted the term persistent idiopathic facial pain (PIFP) to replace AFP. In the 2nd Edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2), PIFP is defined as “persistent facial pain that does not have the characteristics of the cranial neuralgias … and is not attributed to another disorder.”  However, the term AFP continues to be used by the World Health Organization’s 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and remains in general use by clinicians to refer to chronic facial pain that does not meet any diagnostic criteria and does not respond to most treatments.

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