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Table 3 Clinical characteristics of neuropathic foot pain [20, 44]

From: Understanding the nature and mechanism of foot pain

Characteristic Definition
Allodynia Evocation of pain by a stimulus that does not normally evoke pain.
Dysthesia A spontaneous or evoked unpleasant, abnormal sensation, e.g. hyperalgesia and allodynia.
Hyperalgesia Increased pain response to a stimulus that is normally painful. Might be static, punctate or dynamic, and might occur with thermal stimuli. Suggested to be a consequence of peripheral and/or central sensitisation.
Hyperesthesia Increased sensitivity to stimulation, including diminished threshold and increased response. Excludes the special senses.
Hyperpathia Increased threshold and abnormally painful reactions to stimuli, especially repetitive stimuli. Might occur with dysthesia, hyperalgesia, allodynia or hyperesthesia. Occurs in the presence of fibre loss.
Paraesthesia A spontaneous or evoked, abnormal but not unpleasant sensation. Proposed to reflect spontaneous bursts of A-β fibre activity.
Paroxysms Spontaneous or stimuli-associated shooting, electric-shock like or stabbing pains. Might be elicited by an innocuous tactile stimulus or by a blunt pressure.
Referred pain Abnormal spread of pain from a peripheral or central lesion. Typically referred from deep to cutaneous structures.
Sensory deficit Partial or complete loss of afferent sensory function. Might not involve all sensory pathways.