Chapter

Central pain

L. S. Illis

in Spinal Cord Dysfunction: Volume II: Intervention and Treatment

Published in print December 1991 | ISBN: 9780192617873
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191724312 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192617873.003.0010
Central pain

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Central pain is the term used for pain, arising from lesions confined to the central nervous system, which is of an intense unbearable nature and often found in association with particularly unpleasant dysaesthesiae. It may be spontaneous or in response to minor stimulation and may be either diffused or localized. Sensory impairment or loss is invariable. When pain occurs in spinal lesions most cases show the classical features of central pain: the pain takes time to develop, there is no tissue damage outside the CNS, there is associated sensory deficit, there is the presence of allodynia and there are lower skin temperatures in the painful area, with the frequent exacerbation of pain by temperature changes or emotional stress, and resistance to narcotic analgesia. Spinal cord painful syndromes may be due to vascular lesions or to trauma. In complete lesions, phantom sensation or phantom pain may be referred to any part of the body below the trans-section.

Keywords: unpleasant dysaesthesiae; minor stimulation; sensory impairment; tissue damage; associated sensory deficit; allodynia; exacerbation; painful syndromes; vascular lesions; phantom sensation

Chapter.  3836 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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