Editorial published in the Journal of Pain Research explores new terminology for a new era


A new Editorial published in the Journal of Pain Research highlights the promise of change for patients with chronic spinal pain. ‘Persistent Spinal Pain Syndrome: new terminology for a new era’ reflects upon previous terminology used to describe the condition and calls for change.

Terms such as ‘failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS)’ have previously been used describe patients who experienced persistent pain following spinal surgery. The authors highlight that use of the word ‘failed’ almost places blame on either the patient or the surgeon, and does not help to eliminate the stigma that patients with chronic pain often experience.

The authors write that “In 2019, the IASP published a new classification of chronic pain, which will be incorporated within the International Classification of Disease (ICD-11).22 The IASP recommendations eliminate certain terminology such as FBSS in favor of “chronic pain after spinal surgery” (CPSS).”

However, as this new term does not fully account for all patients with chronic spinal pain there are further calls for “better delineated labels that would specifically address the insufficiency of terminology to address surgical status of patients with spinal pain while replacing the problematic terminology of “failed back surgery syndrome.”

The authors go onto write that “regardless of whether it is CPSS (it has been adopted for implementation, but not until January 2022) or PSPS that becomes the final rubric, it will take some time to integrate.”

Despite this, it is clear that the new ICD-11 terminology will “provide clarity in communicating patient’ clinical circumstances.”

The Editorial concludes by stating “the Journal of Pain Research and the American Society of Pain and Neuroscience supports the new terminology of PSPS to improve the research and treatment, and reduce the stigmatization of this patient population.”

Read the full editorial here:

About the Journal of Pain Research

The Journal of Pain Research is an international, peer-reviewed, open access, online journal that welcomes laboratory and clinical findings in the fields of pain research and the prevention and management of pain. Original research, reviews, symposium reports, hypothesis formation and commentaries are all considered for publication.

This journal is a member of and subscribes to the principles of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The Journal of Pain Research is the official journal of the American Society of Pain & Neuroscience.

About Dove Medical Press

Dove Medical Press Ltd is part of Taylor & Francis Group, the Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC.

We specialize in the publication of Open Access peer-reviewed journals across the broad spectrum of science, technology and especially medicine.

Dove Medical Press was founded in 2003 with the objective of combining the highest editorial standards with the 'best of breed' new publishing technologies. We have offices in Manchester and London in the United Kingdom, representatives in Princeton, New Jersey in the United States, and our editorial offices are in Auckland, New Zealand.

Updated 10 June 2021