Acupuncture - Oriental practice of inserting needles into the skin at points (Meridians) of the body to help relieve pain and treat illness.
Acute Pain - Sharp or intense short-term pain. Typically follows injury or surgery.
Addiction - Psychological or emotional need for a drug. Associated with cravings and inappropriate efforts to obtain the drug.
Algology - The science and study of pain phenomena.
Allodynia - The sensation of pain triggered by a stimulus to the skin that is normally not painful (e.g., lightly touching a sunburn).
Analgesia - Absence or decreased pain response to stimulation that would normally be painful.
Analgesic - Medicine used to relieve pain.
Anesthesia - Absence or partial loss of sensation.
Anesthetic - An agent (or agents) that reversibly produce anesthesia.
Anti-inflammatory - A medicine that reduces inflammation.
Arthropathy - Disorder or disease of a joint.
Athralgia - Pain in or affecting a joint.
Causalgia - Intense pain and sensitivity usually following injury to a peripheral nerve.
Central Pain - Pain associated with a lesion or dysfunction of the central nervous system.
Chronic Pain - The opposite of acute pain. Persistent, long-term pain.
Deafferentation Pain - Pain due to the loss of normal sensory input into the central nervous system.
Dermatome - An area of skin supplied by fibers of a single nerve root.
Dysesthesia - An abnormal, unpleasant sensation.
Epidural - An injection into the outer layer of the spinal canal (the epidural space).
Hyperalgesia - Increased sensitivity to pain.
Hyperesthesia - Abnormal, acute sensitivity to sensory stimulation of the skin.
Hypoalgesia - Diminished sensitivity to sensory stimulation of the skin.
Narcotic - Usually refers to opioids--pain-relieving drugs that are derivatives of opium.
Nerve Block - An injection of medication directly into or around a nerve or group of nerves to provide regional pain relief.
Neuralgia - Pain in the distribution of a nerve or nerves and caused by nerve damage or dysfunction.
Neuritis - Inflammation of a nerve or nerves.
Neuropathic - Pain originating from the malfunctioning of the nervous system.
Neuropathy - Disturbance of function or pathologic change in one or more nerves.
Nociceptive Pain - Response to a painful stimulus.
Nociceptor - A sensory nerve receptor that responds to pain.
Noxious Stimulus - A stimulus that is harmful or potentially harmful to body tissue, and triggers a painful or unpleasant sensation.
Opioid or Opiate - A pain-killing drug chemically related to opium.
Pain - An unpleasant feeling that may be associated with disease or trauma.
Pain Threshold - The most minimal stimulation that a person recognizes as painful—this varies from individual to individual.
Pain Tolerance Level - The greatest amount of pain a person can tolerate.
Paresthesia - An abnormal sensation such as tingling or ‘pins and needles’ that may be uncomfortable, but not truly painful.
Radiculitis - Inflammation of a nerve root in the spinal canal.
Radiculopathy - Pain and neurologic deficit caused by injury to a nerve root.
Referred Pain - Pain felt in a body part that is distant from the pain origin. The origin and the body part may share a common nerve pathway.
Rhizotomy - Surgical incision of nerve root(s) within the spinal canal.
Somatosensory - Sensory signals from the body—usually referring to signals from the limbs rather than internal organs.
Trigger Point - An area in muscle or connective tissue that is hypersensitive to touch or pressure.