Encyclopedia of Pain

2007 Edition

Hypoesthesia, Assessment

  • Misha-Miroslav Backonja
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-29805-2_1840


Hypesthesia; hypoaesthesia


Hypoesthesia refers to decreased perception of innocuous stimuli, a condition where the body is much less sensitive than normal to stimulation that by its nature and intensity does not produce pain. Special senses are excluded (Merskey and Bogduk 1994). Hypoesthesia refers to diminished perception of a large range of mechanical stimuli such as touch, brush, pressure and vibration and thermally innocuous stimuli of warm and cold. Stimulation and locus are specified. Hypoesthesia is also defined as a raised threshold to nonpainful stimuli and this definition is used as a criterion for hypoesthesia during quantitative sensory testing (QST). There are two phenomena that are the opposite of hypoesthesia, hyperesthesia and allodynia. Hyperesthesia is increased but not painful sensation from innocuous stimulation and allodynia is pain from innocuous stimulation. If stimulation is of nature or intensity to produce tissue damage and the subject...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Misha-Miroslav Backonja
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA