Glossary B


Balanced analgesia

The simultaneous use of drugs from different pharmacologic classes to produce a greater degree of analgesia than can be achieved by using the drugs individually. In the treatment of acute post-operative pain, the combination of a local anesthetic agent, an opioid and an anti-inflammatory drug can help to reduce pain with fewer side effects than using the individual drugs at a higher dosage.

Biopsychosocial pain model

A theoretical model based on the concept that no single dimension is adequate to understand chronic pain; consideration should be given to the interaction of biologic, psychologic and social factors. Successful management requires attention to all components of the model.

Breakthrough pain

Spontaneous or activity-related intermittent exacerbations of pain; pain that increases above the level of pain addressed by the ongoing analgesics.