SUNCT – Short Acting Unilateral Neuralgiform headaches are another Type of Trigeminal Neuralgia Type Pain.

What is SUNCT Headache? According to The National Institute of Neurolical Disorders and Stroke:

“SUNCT-Short-lasting, Unilateral, Neuralgiform headache attacks with Conjunctival injection and Tearing-is a rare form of headache that is most common in men after age 50. The disorder is marked by bursts of moderate to severe burning, stabbing, or throbbing pain, usually on one side of the head and around the eye or temple. Attacks typically occur in daytime hours and last from 5 seconds to 4 minutes per episode. Patients generally have five to six attacks per hour.”

“Autonomic nervous system responses include watery eyes, reddish or bloodshot eyes caused by dilation of blood vessels (conjunctival injection), nasal congestion, runny nose, sweaty forehead, swelling of the eyelids, and increased pressure within the eye on the affected side of head. Systolic blood pressure may rise during the attacks. Movement of the neck may trigger these headaches. SUNCT may be a form of trigeminal neuralgia and is considered one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalgias, or TACs.” LIKE ALMOST ALL HEADACHES SUNCY IS A TYPE OF HEADACHE RELATED TO THE TRIGEMINAL NERVOUS SYSTEM AND TRIGEMINOVASCULAR SYSTEM. IT IS AUTONOMIC IN BASIS. NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY MAY BE AN APPROPRIATE APPROACH TO AVOIDING THE SEVERE ATTACKS BUT NOT TURNING THEM OF WHEN IN PROGRESS. A SPENOPALATINE GANGLION BLOCK MAY TURN THEM OFF. YOUR NEUROMUSCULAR DENTIST CAN TEACH PATIENTS TO PREFORM THIS PROCEEDURE AT HOME OFR WORK IN A FEW SECONDS WITH LIDOCAINE AND A COTTON SWAP PLACED INTRANASALLY.BLOCK

Is there any treatment? A DIAGNOSTIC NEUROMUSCULAR ORTHOTIC CAN BE EVALUATED AS A PREVENTIVE THERAPY Learn more about Neuromuscular Treatment of Headaches at

“These headaches are generally non-responsive to usual treatment for other short-lasting headaches. Corticosteroids and the anti-epileptic drugs gabapentin, lamotrigine, and carbamazepine may help relieve some symptoms in some patients. Studies have shown that injections of glycerol to block the facial nerves that carry pain may provide immediate relief, but the headaches recurred in about 40 percent of patients studied.” SPG BLOCKS INTRANASALLY MAY PROVIDE COMPLETE RELIEF IN SOME PATIENTS WITHIN A FEW MINUTES. PATIENTS CAN BE TAUGHT TO SELF ADMINISTER THIS SAFE THERAPY. A POPULAR BOOK MIRACLES ON PARK AVENUE DISCUSSED SOME OTHER USES OF THE SPG BLOCK THAT CAN PROVIDE MIRACULOUS RESULTS FOR SOME PATIENTS.
What is the prognosis?

“There is no cure for these headaches. The disorder is not fatal but can cause considerable discomfort.” NEUROMUSCULAR DENTISTRY MAY PROVIE EFFECTIVE PREVENTIVE TREATMENT FOR SOME PATIENTS. THIS CAN BE TESTED WITH A DIAGNOSTIC ORTHOTIC.

There is a case report of a patient in brazil being “cured” of SUNCT when it occured with masticatory myofascial pain. Treatment was microdecompression of trigeminal ganglion, physical therapy and myofascial trigger point injections. There is an incredibly interesting article “Selective Unilateral Autonomic Activation: Implications for Psychiatry” that is available online at: that gives clues to help us understand the implications of the autonomic nervous system’s possible effects on this disorder. The article can be found at:

Pubmed Abstract:
Cranio. 2006 Oct;24(4):300-2.
SUNCT syndrome associated with temporomandibular disorders: a case report.
de Siqueira SR, Nóbrega JC, Teixeira MJ, de Siqueira JT.

Orofacial Pain Team, Dentistry Division, Hospital das Clinicas, Medical School, University of São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
This case report relates the association between a rare neuralgiform syndrome (SUNCT) and masticatory myofascial pain (TMD); two different diseases with different diagnosis criteria and treatments. SUNCT syndrome was treated with a balloon microcompression procedure of the trigeminal ganglion, and the myofascial pain with injections and physical therapy. The patient was without pain at a twelve-month follow-up evaluation.

PMID: 17086860 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]