Pain wind-up

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Pain wind-up is the perceived increase in pain intensity over time when a given stimulus is delivered repeatedly above a critical rate. It is caused by repeated stimulation of group C peripheral nerve fibers, leading to progressively increasing electrical response in the corresponding spinal cord (posterior horn) neurons due to priming of the NMDA receptor based response.[1][2] It describes an exponentially progressive increase in firing of WDR neurons with repeated stimulation.


  1. ^ Feng Xu; Tianjian Lu (29 May 2011). Introduction to Skin Biothermomechanics and Thermal Pain. Springer. p. 347. ISBN 978-3-642-13201-8. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
  2. ^ Pitcher and Henry (2000). Eur. J. Neurosci., 12:2006–2020.