Chronic Pain Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Chronic Pain article.

Acetaminophen: A nonaspirin pain reliever or analgesic. Acetaminophen may be given alone t...

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Acid indigestion: Excessive secretion of hydrochloric acid by the stomach cells. Medically...

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Acute: Of abrupt onset, in reference to a disease. Acute often also connotes an illness th...

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Acute pain: Pain that comes on quickly, can be severe, but lasts a relatively shorter peri...

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Addiction: An uncontrollable craving, seeking, and use of a substance such as alcohol or a...

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Adjuvant: A substance that helps and enhances the effect of a drug, treatment, or biologic...

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Ankle: The ankle joint is complex. It is made up of two joints: the true ankle joint and ...

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Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria and other microorganisms. ...

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Antidepressants: Anything, and especially a drug, used to prevent or treat depression.

Anxiety: A feeling of apprehension and fear, characterized by physical symptoms such as pa...

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Appendicitis: Inflammation of the appendix, usually associated with infection of the appen...

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Arteriosclerosis: Hardening and thickening of the walls of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis ...

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Arthritis: Inflammation of a joint. When joints are inflamed they can develop stiffness, w...

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Aspirin: Once the Bayer trademark for acetylsalicylic acid, now the common name for this a...

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Autoimmune: Pertaining to autoimmunity, a misdirected immune response that occurs when the...

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Back pain: Pain felt in the low or upper back. Causes of pain in the low and upper back in...

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bone cancer: A malignancy of bone. Primary bone cancer (cancer that begins in bone) is rar...

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Brain: The portion of the central nervous system that is located within the skull. It func...

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Bruise: Injury of the soft tissues that results in breakage of the local capillaries and l...

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Bypass: An operation in which a new pathway is created for the transport of substances in ...

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Cancer: An abnormal growth of cells which tend to proliferate in an uncontrolled way and, ...

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Capsaicin: Capsaicin is an active component of chili peppers that is used to relieve muscl...

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Carpal tunnel syndrome: Compression and irritation of the median nerve as it passes under ...

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Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Charley horse: Slang for a cramp in a muscle in the leg, usually caused by a strain or inj...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Chronic pain: Pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over ...

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Chronic pancreatitis: A form of pancreatitis in which there is persistent inflammation of ...

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Circulation: In medicine, the movement of fluid through the body in a regular or circuitou...

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Circulatory: Having to do with circulation, the movement of fluid in a regular or circuito...

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Cluster: In epidemiology, an aggregation of cases of a disease or another health-related c...

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Complication: In medicine, an unanticipated problem that arises following, and is a result...

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Constipation: Infrequent and frequently incomplete bowel movements. Constipation is the op...

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Cymbalta: Brand name for duloxetine hydrochloride, a drug approved by the FDA to treat maj...

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Depression: An illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and that affects the way...

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Diabetes: Refers to diabetes mellitus or, less often, to diabetes insipidus. Diabetes mell...

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Dizziness: Painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of ...

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Duloxetine: See: Cymbalta.

Dysphoria: Anxiety.

Fatigue: A condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency ...

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Fecal: Relating to the feces, the stool. The excrement discharged from the intestines.

Fibromyalgia: A disease characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and tenderness of muscle...

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Fracture: A break in bone or cartilage. Although usually a result of trauma, a fracture ca...

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Gallbladder: A pear-shaped organ located below the liver that stores the bile secreted by ...

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Gallstones: Stones that form when substances in the bile harden. Gallstones can be as smal...

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Giant cell arteritis: A serious disease characterized by inflammation of the walls of the ...

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Headache: A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the he...

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Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, irrespective of the cause. Hepatitis is caused by a ...

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Heroin: Semisynthetic drug derived from morphine. Discovered in 1874, it was introduced co...

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Herpes: A family of viruses. Herpes also refers to infection with one of the human herpesv...

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Herpes zoster: Also called shingles, zona, and zoster. The culprit is the varicella-zoster...

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High blood pressure: A repeatedly elevated blood pressure exceeding 140 over 90 mmHg. Chro...

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Hospice: A program or facility that provides special care for people who are near the end ...

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Ibuprofen: A nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is commonly used to treat pa...

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Imitrex: Brand name for sumatriptan, a triptan drug for the treatment of migraine.

Incurable: Not amenable to a cure. Incapable of being cured, healed and made well again. ...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Inflammation: A localized reaction that produces redness, warmth, swelling, and pain as a ...

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Injury: Harm or hurt. To harm, hurt, or wound. The word injure may be in physical or emot...

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Insomnia: The perception or complaint of inadequate or poor-quality sleep due to a number ...

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Insulin: A natural hormone made by the pancreas that controls the level of the sugar gluco...

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Joint: The area where two bones are attached for the purpose of permitting body parts to m...

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Kidney: One of a pair of organs located in the right and left side of the abdomen. The kid...

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Leg: In popular usage, the part of the body from the top of the thigh down to the foot, an...

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Limb: An arm or a leg.

Liver: The largest solid organ in the body, situated in the upper part of the abdomen on t...

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Lupus: A chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by autoimmunity. Patients with lupus ...

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Methadone: A synthetic opiate. The most common medical use for methadone is as a legal sub...

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Migraine: Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head. These ...

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Morphine: A powerful narcotic agent that has strong analgesic (pain relief) action and oth...

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Mouth: 1. The upper opening of the digestive tract, beginning with the lips and con...

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Muscle: Muscle is the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power. T...

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Narcotic: 1. A drug that causes insensibility or stupor. A narcotic induces narcosi...

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Nausea: Stomach queasiness, the urge to vomit. Nausea can be brought on by many causes, in...

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Nerve: A bundle of fibers that uses electrical and chemical signals to transmit sensory an...

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Neuralgia: Pain along the course of a nerve.

Neuropathy: Any disease or malfunction of the nerves.

NSAID: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a medication that is commonly prescribed or pu...

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Nutrition: 1) The science or practice of taking in and utilizing foods. 2) A nourishing ...

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Ointment: An oil-based preparation that is applied to the skin. Whereas an ointment has an...

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Onset: In medicine, the first appearance of the signs or symptoms of an illness as, for ex...

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Operation: In medicine, a surgical procedure. Many operations are named after persons. The...

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Opioid: 1. A synthetic narcotic that resembles the naturally occurring opiates. 2. Any sub...

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Osteomyelitis: Inflammation of the bone due to infection, for example, by the bacteria sal...

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Osteoporosis: Thinning of the bones, with reduction in bone mass, due to depletion of calc...

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Oxycodone: Oxycodone is the active ingredient in OxyContin. Oxycodone is an opioid, a clos...

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Oxygen: The odorless gas that is present in the air and necessary to maintain life. Oxygen...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pancreas: A spongy, tube-shaped organ that is about 6 inches long and is located in the ba...

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Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas. Of the many causes of pancreatitis, the most c...

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Peripheral: Situated away from the center, as opposed to centrally located.

Peripheral neuropathy: A problem with the functioning of the nerves outside the spinal cor...

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Photophobia: Painful oversensitivity to light. For example, photophobia is often seen in m...

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Poor circulation: An inadequacy of blood flow. Inadequate blood flow to a particular area ...

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Postherpetic neuralgia: The most common complication of shingles, persistence of the pain ...

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Prescription: A physician's order for the preparation and administration of a drug or dev...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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Reflex: An involuntary reaction. For example, the corneal reflex is the blink that occurs ...

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Respiratory: Having to do with respiration.

Rheumatoid arthritis: An autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of joint...

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Sciatic nerve: The largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve begins from nerve roots in...

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Sciatica: Pain that results from irritation of the sciatic nerve and typically radiates fr...

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Sensation: In medicine and physiology, sensation refers to the registration of an incoming...

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Shingles: An acute infection caused by the herpes zoster virus, the same virus as causes ...

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Shoulder: A structure made up of two main bones: the scapula (shoulder blade) and the hume...

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Shoulder pain: Pain in the shoulder due to an injury or disease. The design of the shoulde...

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Sinus: 1. An air-filled cavity in a dense portion of a skull bone. The sinuses decr...

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Sinusitis: Inflammation of the lining membrane in any of the hollow areas (sinuses) of the...

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Sleep: The body's rest cycle.

Somatic: 1. Relating to the body. a. As distinguished from the mind (the psy...

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Spasm: A brief, automatic jerking movement. A muscle spasm can be quite painful, with the ...

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Spinal cord: The major column of nerve tissue that is connected to the brain and lies with...

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Spine: 1) The column of bone known as the vertebral column, which surrounds and protects ...

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Stomach: The digestive organ that is located in the upper abdomen, under the ribs. The upp...

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Stool: The solid matter that is discharged in a bowel movement.

Substance: 1. Material with particular features.
2. The material that...

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Sumatriptan: A triptan drug for the treatment of migraine. Marketed under the brand name I...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Symptom: Any subjective evidence of disease. In contrast, a sign is objective. Blood comin...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Tendinitis: Inflammation of a tendon (the tissue by which muscle attaches to bone). Tendin...

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Tension: 1) The pressure within a vessel, such as blood pressure: the pressure within t...

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Therapy: The treatment of disease. Therapy is synonymous with treatment.

Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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Tricyclic antidepressants: One of a class of medications used to treat depression. The tri...

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Trigeminal neuralgia: Also called tic douloureux. Inflammation of the trigeminal nerve (th...

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Trigger: Something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predispose...

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Tylenol: See: Acetaminophen.

Visceral: Referring to the viscera, the internal organs of the body, specifically those wi...

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Withdrawal symptoms: Abnormal physical or psychological features that follow the abrupt di...

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World Health Organization: The subagency of the United Nations (UN) that is concerned with...

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Medical Dictionary