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Glossary - N


narcotic: Opiate medication used for treatment of pain.


nerve block: An injection that causes numbness and weakness by preventing function of a nerve.


nerve conduction velocity (NCV): The speed at which an electrical signal travels along a nerve. This may be abnormal when a nerve is compressed or injured.


nerve cone: The growing tip of a severed nerve that it is trying to re-establish its connection after injury.


nerve tube: A synthetic tube used to help in repair and reconnection of nerves.


nerve nervorum: Small nerve fibers that innervate larger nerve bundles. They allow us to feel pressure on the nerve itself. 


neurofibroma: A tumor arising within a nerve.


neuroma: A clump of tissue, not necessarily a tumor, that can arise at the site of nerve injury.


neurons: Nerve cells.


neuropathic pain: Pain that derives in nerves and may not be responsive to routine pain medications.


neuropathy: Malfunction in a nerve due to a medical disease of nerves or to compression of the nerve.


neuroplasty: Surgical release of adhesions around a nerve carried out to relieve pain and disability


neuroprotective agents: Medications that are intended to help limit the damage suffered by a nerve or neural tissue such as spinal cord, brain or nerve, when the blood supply is cut off or there is a traumatic injury. 


nociceptor: A type of nerve ending that produces a sensation of pain when it is stimulated.


non-ferrous: A type of metal without iron in it.


nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): Medications that reduce swelling, inflammation and pain without the use of steroids, e.g. Tylenol or Motrin.


notochord: A primitive part of the body plan in evolution that has remnants in humans in the form of the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral discs.


nuclear medicine: Diagnostic tests that involve the use of radioactivity administered to the body.


nucleus pulposus: The soft spongy material surrounded by the annular ring that makes up the center of an intervertebral disc.