International Association for the Study of Pain    IASP Press

Classification of Chronic Pain: Descriptions of Chronic Pain Syndromes and Definitions of Pain Terms, Second Edition

Editors: Harold Merskey and Nikolai Bogduk
1994, 240 pp, softbound, ISBN 0-931092-05-1. Price: $26.00 US 
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Second edition of the work of the IASP Task Force on Taxonomy. The codes for chronic pain diagnosis, descriptions of pain syndromes, and detailed pain definitions have all been updated and some new descriptions have been added.

Table of Contents: Classification of Chronic Pain


Topics and Codes

Detailed Descriptions of Pain Syndromes

Pain Terms: A Current List with Definitions and Notes on Usage

Subject Index


Neuralgias of the Head and Face

Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic Douloureux)

Secondary Neuralgia (Trigeminal) from Central Nervous System Lesions

Secondary Trigeminal Neuralgia from Facial Trauma

Acute Herpes Zoster (Trigeminal)

Postherpetic Neuralgia (Trigeminal)

Geniculate Neuralgia (VIIth Cranial Nerve): Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Neuralgia of the Nervus Intermedius

Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia (IXth Cranial Nerve)

Neuralgia of the Superior Laryngeal Nerve (Vagus Nerve Neuralgia)

Occipital Neuralgia

Hypoglossal Neuralgia

Glossopharyngeal Pain from Trauma

Tolosa-Hunt-Syndrome (Painful Ophthalmoplegia)

SUNCT Syndrome (Shortlasting, Unilateral Neuralgiform Pain with Conjunctival

Injection and Tearing

Raeder's Syndrome (Raeder's Paratrigeminal Syndrome)


Acceleration-Deceleration Injury of the Neck (Cervical Sprain) (IX-8)

Cervical spinal pain precipitated by an event involving sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head and neck with respect to the trunk.

Clinical Features
The pain is aggravated by motion of the cervical spine, tension, sitting, or reading and is often accompanied by muscle spasm and trigger points in one or more muscles of the occiput or neck. Prolonged or repetitive use of the shoulder girdle muscles, e.g., carrying dishes or washing them, may induce radiation of pain in the upper extremity. Push/pull activities, e.g., vacuum cleaning, may aggravate pain also. Cervical spinal pain with or without referred pain in a patient describing a history of sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head and neck of a magnitude sufficient to be presumed to have injured one or more of the components of the cervical spine.

Diagnostic Criteria
The presence of clinical features described above.

No single pathologic entity can be ascribed to this condition. The spinal pain can be caused by any of a variety of injuries that may befall the cervical spine.

The use of the term "whiplash" is not recommended. This classification is essentially a clinical diagnosis. A more specific diagnosis could be entertained if the appropriate diagnostic criteria could be satisfied, for example, sprain of an anulus fibrosus, zygapophysial joint pain, muscle sprain, muscle spasm. Certain associated features such as dizziness, tinnitus, and blurred vision occur in some cases, often those which are relatively severe. Sleep disturbance and mood disturbance often appear for months or longer in the more severe cases, but these are a minority of all cases. These associated features may be coincidental or expressions of an anxiety state or a secondary response to chronic pain. Their presence or absence is immaterial to the formulation of the diagnosis.
Code 133.X1aS/C

References .....

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. . . This new taxonomy revision will appeal to all clinicians, educators, and researchers in the field of pain. Students will find that it provides the essential foundation and standard description of pain syndromes for their learning...The Clinical Journal of Pain

. . . our colleagues [within IASP] have undertaken a significant task and performed admirably on the completion of this classification of chronic pain. Headache Quarterly

. . . this volume embodies the current consensus in the classification of chronic and painful conditions . . . [it] should be required reading for students of chronic pain at all levels. It should serve as the standard for definition of chronic pain terms and as such be part of every practitioner’s chronic pain library. Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain

. . . the 167 pages of detailed description of pain syndromes (including definition, main features, associated symptoms, usual course) provide a wealth of concise, useful information to the clinician that may well be mimicked by standard pain textbooks . . . [It] should be on the bookshelf of every pain clinic, and will be very useful for anesthetists subspecializing in chronic pain management. Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia

This monograph is essential reading for all practitioners who are involved in the care of patients with chronic pain, and a copy should be available for immediate reference wherever such care is provided. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care

This book is a useful, maybe even essential, reference for clinicians treating patients with chronic pain and researchers studying chronic pain. It provides the best categories we have for communicating about these vexing problems to our colleagues and the public. APS Bulletin

1994, 240 pp, softbound, ISBN 0-931092-05-1. Price: $26.00 US 

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This page was updated on January 12, 2003