Glossary of Selected Terms

  • Allodynia: A medical term meaning pain evoked by a stimulus that does not normally cause pain, for example pain upon touch.

  • Hyperalgesia: The term means unusually intense pain to a stimulus which is normally painful (for example pin prick).
  • Hyperesthesia: Increased sensitivity to stimulation (it is a more general term and includes both allodynia and hyperalgesia). Hypoesthesia or anesthesia means decreased sensation and complete lack of sensation respectively.
  • Paresthesia: An abnormal sensation which occurs on its own (spontaneous) or is generated by touch, prick or pressure, but is not unpleasant. It contrasts to the term Dysesthesia, which means that this abnormal sensation is unpleasant.
  • Deafferentation pain is a term often used to indicate pain felt in a body part lacking sensation (as in brachial plexus injury, spinal cord injury etc).

Abbreviations

  • CNS: Central Nervous System;
  • CRPS: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome;
  • DREZ: Dorsal Root Entry Zone;
  • IASP: International Association for the Study of Pain;
  • MS: Multiple Sclerosis;
  • MVA: motor vehicle accident;
  • NMDA: N-methyl-D-aspartate;
  • PHN: postherpetic neuralgia;
  • PNS: Peripheral Nervous System;
  • RCT: randomized controlled trial;
  • ROM: range of movement;
  • RSD: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy;
  • SNS: Sympathetic Nervous System;
  • TCAs: tricyclic antidepressants;
  • TENS: transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation;
  • TN: trigeminal neuralgia;
  • TSCI: traumatic spinal cord injury;