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Table 1 Pain terminology as defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain ( http://www.iasp-pain.org )

From: Neural and psychosocial contributions to sex differences in knee osteoarthritic pain

Terminology Definition Comments
Nociceptor A sensory receptor that is capable of transducing and encoding a noxious stimulus Nociceptors are located in a variety of tissue types including most structures of the articular joint
Nociceptive neuron A central or peripheral neuron that is capable of encoding noxious stimulation  
Sensitization Increased responsiveness of neurons to normal input or activation of a response by inputs that are normally subthreshold Can occur in the periphery (nociceptors) or in the CNS pathway
Primary hyperalgesia Increased response to a stimulus that is normally painful Occurs at the site of insult; results from peripheral nociceptor sensitization
Secondary hyperalgesia Increased response to a stimulus that is normally painful Occurs outside the site of insult in tissue that is not injured; results from central neuron sensitization
Allodynia Pain due to a stimulus that does not normally evoke pain Results from central neuron sensitization
Temporal Summation Increased pain to application of the same stimulus repetitively over a brief period of time Enhanced in patients with osteoarthritis; surrogate measure of central neuron excitability
Conditioned pain modulation Application of a noxious stimulus distant to the test area (such as leg) produces analgesia (such as arm) Decreased in patients with osteoarthritis; surrogate measure of central inhibition; also referred to as diffuse noxious inhibitory control (DNIC)
Pain catastrophizing Tendency to magnify the consequences of the pain and to feel helpless in managing the pain Higher levels associated with higher OA pain, and worse outcomes (disability, pain)
Self-efficacy   Lower levels are associated with worse outcomes (function, pain)
Fear of pain/movement Excessive expectation that physical activity will worsen pain and function Higher levels are associated with worse outcomes (function, disability, pain)