Definitions

Pain. An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.

Acute. Medical term to indicate something of short duration. Unlike “Chronic”.

Addiction. This is a “multidimensional” disease. It is not enough to take a specific drug. You also have to be a person who is liable to get addicted and at the same time be in the correct environment to be addicted.(see also Dependence and Tolerance)

Allodynia. Pain due to a stimulus which does not normally provoke pain.

Analgesia. Absence of pain in response to stimulation which would normally be painful.

Central pain. Pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the central nervous system. May occur after a stroke.

Chronic. Medical term to indicate something of long duration. Pain becomes chronic if it has been present for more than 3 months, or longer than it would be expected to be. (See “Acute”)

Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). A form of neuropathic pain . Type 1 is not associated with a nerve injury but Type 2 is. Type 1 used to be called RSD.

Degenerative Disc Disease. This is a term used to describe an image found on MRI scans of the vertebral discs. Its significance is debated; some believe it can indicate the source of some back pains where as other people point to the fact that not everyone with “degenerative discs” have pain whilst others have pain without “degenerative discs”. They are common and often start to appear by a persons twenties, being more common as we get older – like grey hair and wrinkles.

Dependence. A normal reaction of the body to the presence of certain drugs. It occurs with a large number of medicines, is predicable and can be viewed as a normal side effect of having a drug. It is the reason many medicines have to be stopped slowly rather than abruptly. (see also Addiction and Tolerance)

Hyperalgesia. An increased response to a stimulus which is normally painful.

Hyperesthesia. Increased sensitivity to stimulation, excluding the special senses.

Mechanical Back Pain. This is the term used to describe a pain that is thought to arise from the way in which the back moves. It is not clear why it occurs but is not thought to be due to anything serious. Treatment options include facet joint injections.

Neuralgia. Pain in the distribution of a nerve or nerves.

Neuritis. Inflammation of a nerve or nerves.

Neuropathic pain. Pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion or dysfunction in the nervous system.

Nociceptive pain. The “normal” pain one feels following injury or damage.

Paresthesia. An abnormal sensation, whether spontaneous or evoked.

Regional Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). The old term for CRPS 1.

Spinal Stenosis. “Stenosis” refers to a condition of narrowing of the spinal canal around the spinal cord itself. It can lead to pain felt in the legs and one treatment option is to use caudal epidural injections.

Tolerance. A normal reation of the body to the presence of certain drugs. It is the reason that some side effects of medicines get less with time rather than worse. The body appears to get used to the presence of the drug.(see also Addiction and Dependence)

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