Glossary of Terms
Allodynia - a condition in which ordinarily non-painful stimuli causes pain.
Arthrodesis - surgical immobilization of a joint (also called joint fusion).
Arthroplasty - surgical repair or replacement of a joint.
Bradykinesia - involuntary slowed or sluggish movement.
Catastrophizing - thinking overly negative thoughts.
Congenital - existing at or before birth.
Contracture - a condition of permanent resistance to passive stretch of a muscle.
Cordotomy - surgical division of a tract of the spinal cord for relief of severe pain that has been unresponsive to other treatments.
Dystonic (adj.) / dystonia (n.) - altered muscle tone.
Epidural - injection of drugs into the peridural space of the spinal cord.
Etiology - the cause or causes of a disease or abnormal condition.
Flare - symptoms become suddenly worse or more painful.
Gait analysis - analysis of the manner in which a person walks.
Gastroesophageal reflux - the return of stomach contents back up into the esophagus, frequently causing heartburn that can lead to scarring and constriction of the esophagus.
Gastrostomy tube - a surgically placed tube to allow feeding directly to the stomach in people unable to swallow or feed well.
Intra-articular - situated within, occurring within, or administered through a joint.
Intrathecal - injection of drugs under the arachnoid membrane of the brain or spinal cord.
Ischemia - a lack of oxygen in localized tissue due to obstruction of the inflow of arterial blood.
Joint fusion - surgical immobilization of a joint (also called arthrodesis).
Musculoskeletal pain - pain in the musculature and/or skeleton (includes joints).
Myofascial pain - pain in the broad muscles overlying the shoulder blade and spine typically caused by muscle strain. Trigger point on shoulder can produce a shooting pain that travels down shoulder to the arm and back.
Necrosis - death of a portion of tissue through any number of reasons such as loss of blood supply.
Nerve block - interruption of the passage of impulses through a nerve by pressure or drugs.
Neuroablation - surgical removal of a nerve.
Neuroma - a mass of nerve tissue in an amputation stump resulting from abnormal regrowth of the stumps of severed nerves.
Neuropathic pain - pain that results from a disturbance of a nerve, causing an abnormal response. Pain is typically described as burning, tingling, or shooting.
Orthosis (orthoses-pl.) - a brace or splint that prevents or assists movement.
Paresthesia - a sensation of pricking, tingling, or creeping on the skin that has no known cause.
Phantom limb pain - pain in a non-present limb or digit.
Preemptive analgesia - the attempt to prevent chronic pain before acute pain occurs, such as before and during surgery.
Proprioceptive inaccuracy - proprioceptors provide feedback on limb position and movement. Proprioceptive inaccuracy occurs when positions or joint angles cannot be accurately replicated. In others words, the position you are aiming for isn't exactly where you end up due to disruption of the feedback the proprioceptors provide.
Residual limb pain - pain in the portion of the limb remaining after amputation; also called stump pain.
Radicular pain - pain that radiates into the lower extremity directly along the course of a spinal nerve root; usually brought on by compression, inflammation, and/or injury to that nerve root.
Rhizotomy - surgical interruption of spinal or cranial nerve root.
Scoliosis - curvature of the spine to the side.
Spasticity - an increased tightness or tone of muscle.
Spinal fusion - surgical fusion of two or more vertebrae for remedial immobilization of the spine.
Stump pain - pain in the portion of the limb remaining after amputation; also called residual limb pain.
Sympathectomy - surgical interruption of sympathetic nerve pathways.
Synovectomy - a procedure in which the diseased lining of the joint, the synovium, is removed to help relieve pain and swelling.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation - a method of producing pain relief through electrodes placed on the skin.
Trigger point - a specific spot that produces pain when stimulated by touch or pressure.