International Classification of Pain

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  1. Pain
    An unpleasant sensory AND emotional experience associated w/ actual or potential tissue damage
  2. Nociception
    • The neural process of encoding noxious stimuli
    • Consequences of encoding may be autonomic (i.e. elevated BP) or behavioral (motor withdrawal)
    • Pain sensation is not necessarily implied
  3. Sensitization
    Increased responsiveness of nociceptive neurons to their normal input and/or recruitment of a response to normally sub-threshold inputs
  4. Central Sensitization
    Increased responsiveness of nociceptive neurons in the CNS to their normal or sub-threshold afferent input
  5. Peripheral Sensitization
    Increased responsiveness and reduced threshold of nociceptive neurons in the periphery to the stimulation of their receptive files
  6. Acute Pain
    • Short duration w/ sudden onset
    • Easily diagnosed/treated/resolved
    • At or near site of lesion - if referred, in typical referral patterns
  7. Chronic Pain
    • Starts 3-6 months after injury - lasts 6 months or longer
    • Difficult to diagnose/identify specific cause for pain
    • Referred far from site of lesion/atypical referral patterns
    • May be related to physiological changes in the NS (reduced thresholds, neurotransmitter imbalance, psychological factors, not an identifiable injury)

    • Common features:
    • Substance abuse/overuse
    • Multiple procedures/surgeries
    • External locus of control
    • Vegetative signs
    • Physical, emotional, sexual abuse
    • Exaggerated clinical presentation (verbal or nonverbal pain behavior)
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International Classification of Pain
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