Word Search Glossary of Terms used
Allodynia: A pain due to a stimulus which does not normally provoke
pain, such as touch.
Analgesia: The inability to feel pain or medication used to relieve pain.
Causalgia: Severe burning pain in a limb caused by injury to a peripheral
Central: In this sense, relates to the central nervous system comprising
the brain and spinal cord.
Hyperalgesia: Increased sensitivity to pain
Hypoalgesia: Decreased sensitivity to pain
Hypoesthesia: a reduced capacity for physical sensation, particularly of
Neuralgia: an intense burning or stabbing pain associated with damage
of irritation of a nerve. The sensation often feels as though it is shooting
along the course of the nerve path.
Neuritis: Inflammation or degenerative damage to a nerve marked by
pain, sensory disturbances and impaired or loss of reflexes.
Neuropathic: usually refers to neuropathic pain- chronic pain resulting
from damage to the nervous system.
Neuropathy: usually refers to peripheral neuropathy- nerve damage to
the peripheral nervous system.
Nociceptor: a sensory receptor for painful stimuli.
Nociception: involves the encoding and processing of harmful/noxious
stimuli in the nervous system.
Noxious: refers to a substance or process which is harmful, poisonous or
Pain: An unpleasant physical/emotional sensation/experience caused by
noxious stimuli and/or central sensitization in the presence of previous
Paraesthesia: An abnormal sensation, typically tingling or pricking,
sometimes called 'pins and needles'. The sensation is associated with
pressure or damage to peripheral nerves.
Peripheral: In this sense, relates to the peripheral nervous system
comprising nerves outside the brain and spinal cord.
Sensitization: Increased sensitivity to pain
Central sensitization: This occurs when the nociceptive neurones
in the spinal cord become sensitized as a result of peripheral tissue
damage or inflammation. Normally nociceptive pain is triggered by
noxious stimuli leading to a stimulus response mechanism (noxious
stimulus-nociceptor- pain response). An understanding of central
sensitization means that for people affected, a pain response can
occur without direct noxious stimulation. For example: A person
may have surgery to remove a herniated disc in his/her back to
relieve the pain caused by a pinched nerve but they may continue
to feel pain after the procedure has been completed and the nerve
Key reference: Woolf, C. 2011. Central sensitization: implications
for the diagnosis and treatment of pain, Pain. 152, S2-S15.