Author(s): Pentland B
The Guillain-Barré syndrome, or acute inflammatory polyneuropathy, is often regarded as a predominantly motor neuropathy with few sensory features, which has a good prognosis in most cases. However, pain is a common symptom occurring in up to 72% of cases. The types of pain are protean including paraesthesiae, dysaesthesia, axial and radicular pain, meningism, myalgia, joint pain and visceral discomfort, etc., and patients may present in a variety of clinical settings such as intensive care units, acute medical wards or rehabilitation departments. These factors, combined with the fact that the condition is relatively uncommon, means that no controlled trial of pain management has been done and a range of treatments has been proposed. We review the various pains which may be associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome and discuss suggestions for their management.