Skip to main content

The Agony of Acronyms

If you read a lot of articles about medicine, as I do, you will see many acronyms in the text.  It can be very frustrating when an author uses lots of acronyms in their writings, especially for folks who are just wanting to learn more about a given medical condition.  I have been reading these articles for years and I have to say this newfangled way of writing can be a pain--no pun intended!

For that reason, I decided it might be nice to create a post with some of the more common acronyms in texts about pain management.  I will do my best to at least give you a "heads up" about specific acronyms as I use them.  In this way, you will at least have a way to understand what I am talking about!


So, without further ado, here is a short list of common terms you might see in medical writings and doctor's notes regarding pain management issues.

Acronym                               Definition

CNS                                       Central Nervous System

COX-2 Inhibitor                   A specific subtype of NSAID that helps control pain
                                             by inhibiting cyclooxyrgenase 2 (an enzyme in the human body 
                                             that is involved in pain and inflammation process.
                                             (example: celecoxib)

CT                                         Computerized Tomography

CAM                                    Complementary and Alternative Medicine

DJD                                      Degenerative Joint Disease

DMARD                              Disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug
                                             (example: Remicade®)

MRI                                     Magnetic Resonance Imaging

NPS                                     Numerical Pain Scale

NSAID                                Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug 
                                            (examples: ibuprofen, naproxen)

OA                                       Osteoarthritis

(O)PQRST                         A medical descriptive evaluation as to Onset,           
                                           Provocation,Region affected, Severity and Time (History)

RA                                     Rheumatoid arthritis

SNRI                                 Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor
                                          (example: venlafaxine)

SSRI                                 Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor
                                         (example: fluoexitine)

TENS                               Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…