ICD-10-CM Code R52

Pain, unspecified

Version 2020 Billable Code No Valid Principal Dx

Valid for Submission

R52 is a billable code used to specify a medical diagnosis of pain, unspecified. The code is valid for the year 2020 for the submission of HIPAA-covered transactions. The ICD-10-CM code R52 might also be used to specify conditions or terms like able to cope, able to cope with pain, aching pain, acute pain, alimentary tract pain due to vascular insufficiency, alteration in comfort: chronic pain, etc

According to ICD-10-CM guidelines this code should not to be used as a principal diagnosis code when a related definitive diagnosis has been established.

Short Description:Pain, unspecified
Long Description:Pain, unspecified

Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries

The Tabular List of Diseases and Injuries is a list of ICD-10 codes, organized "head to toe" into chapters and sections with guidance for inclusions, exclusions, descriptions and more. The following references are applicable to the code R52:

Inclusion Terms

Inclusion Terms
These terms are the conditions for which that code is to be used. The terms may be synonyms of the code title, or, in the case of "other specified" codes, the terms are a list of the various conditions assigned to that code. The inclusion terms are not necessarily exhaustive. Additional terms found only in the Alphabetic Index may also be assigned to a code.
  • Acute pain NOS
  • Generalized pain NOS
  • Pain NOS

Type 1 Excludes

Type 1 Excludes
A type 1 excludes note is a pure excludes note. It means "NOT CODED HERE!" An Excludes1 note indicates that the code excluded should never be used at the same time as the code above the Excludes1 note. An Excludes1 is used when two conditions cannot occur together, such as a congenital form versus an acquired form of the same condition.
  • acute and chronic pain, not elsewhere classified G89
  • localized pain, unspecified type - code to pain by site, such as:
  • abdomen pain R10
  • back pain M54.9
  • breast pain N64.4
  • chest pain R07.1 R07.9
  • ear pain H92.0
  • eye pain H57.1
  • headache R51
  • joint pain M25.5
  • limb pain M79.6
  • lumbar region pain M54.5
  • pelvic and perineal pain R10.2
  • shoulder pain M25.51
  • spine pain M54
  • throat pain R07.0
  • tongue pain K14.6
  • tooth pain K08.8
  • renal colic N23
  • pain disorders exclusively related to psychological factors F45.41

Index to Diseases and Injuries

The Index to Diseases and Injuries is an alphabetical listing of medical terms, with each term mapped to one or more ICD-10 code(s). The following references for the code R52 are found in the index:


The following clinical terms are approximate synonyms or lay terms that might be used to identify the correct diagnosis code:

  • Able to cope
  • Able to cope with pain
  • Aching pain
  • Acute pain
  • Alimentary tract pain due to vascular insufficiency
  • Alteration in comfort: chronic pain
  • Alteration in comfort: pain
  • Application site pain
  • Burning pain
  • C/O: a pain
  • Catch
  • Chronic back pain
  • Chronic intractable pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Compensated movement at site of pain
  • Constant pain
  • Cramping pain
  • Crushing pain
  • Cryalgesia
  • Crymodynia
  • Cutting pain
  • Deep pain
  • Difficulty coping
  • Difficulty coping with pain
  • Diffuse pain
  • Disorder characterized by pain
  • Distressing present pain
  • Drilling quality pain
  • Dull pain
  • Electric shock type pain
  • Excruciating pain
  • Excruciating present pain
  • Exquisite pain
  • Fearful with pain
  • Finding of affective dimension of pain
  • Finding of affective dimension of pain
  • Finding of affective dimension of pain
  • Finding of affective dimension of pain
  • Finding of pain sense
  • Finding of pattern of pain
  • Finding of present pain intensity
  • Finding of response to pain
  • Finding of sensation of testes
  • Finding of sensation of wound
  • Finding of sensory dimension of pain
  • Finding related to onset of pain
  • Finding related to pain control behavior
  • Fracture pain
  • Freezing pain
  • Generalized aches and pains
  • Generalized acute body pains
  • Generalized chronic body pains
  • Gnawing pain
  • Gradual onset of pain
  • Griping pain
  • Health management deficit
  • Heavy pain
  • Homozygous hemoglobinopathy
  • Horrible present pain
  • Inadequate pain control
  • Inflammatory pain
  • Injection site pain
  • Intermittent pain
  • Late effect of injury of testicle
  • Localized chest pain
  • Localized pain
  • Mechanical pain
  • Mild pain
  • Mild present pain
  • Moderate pain
  • Night pain
  • O/E - pain
  • O/E - pain and sensation
  • O/E - sign moderately painful
  • O/E - sign painful
  • O/E - sign slightly painful
  • O/E - sign very painful
  • O/E - Site of pain
  • O/E - tenderness
  • O/E - tenderness of skin
  • O/E - tenderness/pain
  • Obstetric pain
  • Pain
  • Pain and tenderness
  • Pain at rest due to peripheral vascular disease
  • Pain behavior present
  • Pain by sensation quality
  • Pain character - finding
  • Pain characterized by provoking factor
  • Pain characterized by relieving factor
  • Pain crisis
  • Pain during labor and delivery
  • Pain during regional anesthesia for cesarean section
  • Pain finding at anatomical site
  • Pain following administration of agent
  • Pain following cerebrovascular accident
  • Pain in area of anesthesia
  • Pain in lymph nodes after alcohol consumption
  • Pain in testicle
  • Pain in testicle as late effect of injury to testicle
  • Pain of endocrine structure
  • Pain of lymph node
  • Pain of lymphoreticular structure
  • Pain of lymphoreticular structure
  • Pain of skin
  • Pain of truncal structure
  • Pain on movement of skin
  • Pain onset at rest
  • Pain onset during exertion
  • Pain onset during moderate exercise
  • Pain onset during sleep
  • Pain provoked by allergen
  • Pain provoked by altercation
  • Pain provoked by coughing
  • Pain provoked by eating
  • Pain provoked by exertion
  • Pain provoked by lifting
  • Pain provoked by light
  • Pain provoked by movement
  • Pain provoked by rest
  • Pain provoked by running
  • Pain provoked by temperature
  • Pain provoked by trauma
  • Pain provoked by walking
  • Pain radiating to left flank
  • Pain radiating to right flank
  • Pain radiating to thoracic region left side
  • Pain radiating to thoracic region right side
  • Pain relief by lowering leg
  • Pain relief by medication
  • Pain relief related to position
  • Pain relieved by analgesic
  • Pain self-management deficit, acute
  • Pain threshold - finding
  • Painful cough
  • Persistent wound pain
  • Pricking pain
  • Psychroalgia
  • Punishing with pain
  • Radiating pain
  • Referred pain
  • Rest pain
  • Rest pain
  • Sclerotomal pain
  • Sequelae of reproductive disorders
  • Severe pain
  • Sharp pain
  • Shooting pain
  • Sickening with pain
  • Smarting pain
  • Somatic pain
  • Sore skin
  • Soreness
  • Specific body function causing pain
  • Splitting pain
  • Spontaneous pain
  • Squeezing pain
  • Stabbing pain
  • Stated pain intensity within acceptable range
  • Superficial pain
  • Suxamethonium pains
  • Talking painful
  • Tender point
  • Tenderness
  • Tenderness of body region
  • Tenderness of body structure
  • Tenderness of endocrine structure
  • Tenderness of lymphoreticular structure
  • Throbbing pain
  • Tightening pain
  • Tiring with pain
  • Total body pain syndrome
  • Treatment pain
  • Uncontrolled pain
  • Variation of pain
  • Vaso-occlusive pain episode in sickle cell disease
  • Very mild pain
  • Visceral pain
  • Wound pain
  • Wound tenderness

Clinical Information

  • CANCER PAIN-. pain that may be caused by or related to cellular tissue and systemic changes that occur during neoplasm growth tissue invasion and metastasis.
  • PAIN PROCEDURAL-. pain associated with examination treatment or procedures.
  • PAIN INSENSITIVITY CONGENITAL-. a syndrome characterized by indifference to pain despite the ability to distinguish noxious from non noxious stimuli. absent corneal reflexes and intellectual disability may be associated. familial forms with autosomal recessive and autosomal dominant patterns of inheritance have been described. adams et al. principles of neurology 6th ed p1343
  • BACK PAIN-. acute or chronic pain located in the posterior regions of the thorax; lumbosacral region; or the adjacent regions.
  • CAUSALGIA-. a complex regional pain syndrome characterized by burning pain and marked sensitivity to touch hyperesthesia in the distribution of an injured peripheral nerve. autonomic dysfunction in the form of sudomotor i.e. sympathetic innervation to sweat glands vasomotor and trophic skin changes may also occur. adams et al. principles of neurology 6th ed p1359
  • CHEST PAIN-. pressure burning or numbness in the chest.
  • DIABETIC NEUROPATHIES-. peripheral autonomic and cranial nerve disorders that are associated with diabetes mellitus. these conditions usually result from diabetic microvascular injury involving small blood vessels that supply nerves vasa nervorum. relatively common conditions which may be associated with diabetic neuropathy include third nerve palsy see oculomotor nerve diseases; mononeuropathy; mononeuropathy multiplex; diabetic amyotrophy; a painful polyneuropathy; autonomic neuropathy; and thoracoabdominal neuropathy. from adams et al. principles of neurology 6th ed p1325
  • DYSMENORRHEA-. painful menstruation.
  • FACIAL NEURALGIA-. neuralgic syndromes which feature chronic or recurrent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease. disorders of the trigeminal and facial nerves are frequently associated with these conditions.
  • FACIAL PAIN-. pain in the facial region including orofacial pain and craniofacial pain. associated conditions include local inflammatory and neoplastic disorders and neuralgic syndromes involving the trigeminal facial and glossopharyngeal nerves. conditions which feature recurrent or persistent facial pain as the primary manifestation of disease are referred to as facial pain syndromes.
  • HEADACHE-. the symptom of pain in the cranial region. it may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders.
  • MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROMES-. muscular pain in numerous body regions that can be reproduced by pressure on trigger points localized hardenings in skeletal muscle tissue. pain is referred to a location distant from the trigger points. a prime example is the temporomandibular joint dysfunction syndrome.
  • NEURALGIA-. intense or aching pain that occurs along the course or distribution of a peripheral or cranial nerve.
  • HEREDITARY SENSORY AND AUTONOMIC NEUROPATHIES-. a group of inherited disorders characterized by degeneration of dorsal root and autonomic ganglion cells and clinically by loss of sensation and autonomic dysfunction. there are five subtypes. type i features autosomal dominant inheritance and distal sensory involvement. type ii is characterized by autosomal inheritance and distal and proximal sensory loss. type iii is dysautonomia familial. type iv features insensitivity to pain heat intolerance and mental deficiency. type v is characterized by a selective loss of pain with intact light touch and vibratory sensation. from joynt clinical neurology 1995 ch51 pp142 4
  • NOCICEPTORS-. peripheral afferent neurons which are sensitive to injuries or pain usually caused by extreme thermal exposures mechanical forces or other noxious stimuli. their cell bodies reside in the dorsal root ganglia. their peripheral terminals nerve endings innervate target tissues and transduce noxious stimuli via axons to the central nervous system.
  • PAIN-. an unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons.
  • PAIN MEASUREMENT-. scales questionnaires tests and other methods used to assess pain severity and duration in patients or experimental animals to aid in diagnosis therapy and physiological studies.
  • PAIN INTRACTABLE-. persistent pain that is refractory to some or all forms of treatment.
  • PAIN POSTOPERATIVE-. pain during the period after surgery.
  • PAINT-. an emulsion of solid color which when spread over a surface leaves a thin decorative and or protective coating.
  • PAINTINGS-. works of art formed primarily by the direct application of pigments suspended in oil water egg yolk molten wax or other liquid arranged in masses of color onto a generally two dimensional surface. getty att
  • PARESTHESIA-. subjective cutaneous sensations e.g. cold warmth tingling pressure etc. that are experienced spontaneously in the absence of stimulation.
  • PHANTOM LIMB-. perception of painful and nonpainful phantom sensations that occur following the complete or partial loss of a limb. the majority of individuals with an amputated extremity will experience the impression that the limb is still present and in many cases painful. from neurol clin 1998 nov;164:919 36; brain 1998 sep;121pt 9:1603 30
  • REFLEX SYMPATHETIC DYSTROPHY-. a syndrome characterized by severe burning pain in an extremity accompanied by sudomotor vasomotor and trophic changes in bone without an associated specific nerve injury. this condition is most often precipitated by trauma to soft tissue or nerve complexes. the skin over the affected region is usually erythematous and demonstrates hypersensitivity to tactile stimuli and erythema. adams et al. principles of neurology 6th ed p1360; pain 1995 oct;631:127 33
  • SOMATOFORM DISORDERS-. disorders having the presence of physical symptoms that suggest a general medical condition but that are not fully explained by another medical condition by the direct effects of a substance or by another mental disorder. the medically unexplained symptoms must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social occupational or other areas of functioning. in contrast to factitious disorders and malingering the physical symptoms are not under voluntary control. apa dsm v
  • THYROIDITIS SUBACUTE-. spontaneously remitting inflammatory condition of the thyroid gland characterized by fever; muscle weakness; sore throat; severe thyroid pain; and an enlarged damaged gland containing giant cells. the disease frequently follows a viral infection.
  • ABDOMINAL PAIN-. sensation of discomfort distress or agony in the abdominal region.
  • LOW BACK PAIN-. acute or chronic pain in the lumbar or sacral regions which may be associated with musculo ligamentous sprains and strains; intervertebral disk displacement; and other conditions.
  • PAIN THRESHOLD-. amount of stimulation required before the sensation of pain is experienced.
  • PELVIC PAIN-. pain in the pelvic region of genital and non genital origin.
  • PAIN CLINICS-. facilities providing diagnostic therapeutic and palliative services for patients with severe chronic pain. these may be free standing clinics or hospital based and serve ambulatory or inpatient populations. the approach is usually multidisciplinary. these clinics are often referred to as "acute pain services". from br med bull 1991 jul;473:762 85
  • ARTHRALGIA-. pain in the joint.
  • CYSTITIS INTERSTITIAL-. a condition with recurring discomfort or pain in the urinary bladder and the surrounding pelvic region without an identifiable disease. severity of pain in interstitial cystitis varies greatly and often is accompanied by increased urination frequency and urgency.
  • NECK PAIN-. discomfort or more intense forms of pain that are localized to the cervical region. this term generally refers to pain in the posterior or lateral regions of the neck.
  • SHOULDER PAIN-. unilateral or bilateral pain of the shoulder. it is often caused by physical activities such as work or sports participation but may also be pathologic in origin.
  • CHROMOSOME PAINTING-. a technique for visualizing chromosome aberrations using fluorescently labeled dna probes which are hybridized to chromosomal dna. multiple fluorochromes may be attached to the probes. upon hybridization this produces a multicolored or painted effect with a unique color at each site of hybridization. this technique may also be used to identify cross species homology by labeling probes from one species for hybridization with chromosomes from another species.
  • SOMATOSENSORY DISORDERS-. disorders of sensory information received from superficial and deep regions of the body. the somatosensory system conveys neural impulses which pertain to proprioception tactile sensation thermal sensation pressure sensation and pain. peripheral nervous system diseases; spinal cord diseases; and brain diseases may be associated with impaired or abnormal somatic sensation.
  • COMPLEX REGIONAL PAIN SYNDROMES-. conditions characterized by pain involving an extremity or other body region hyperesthesia and localized autonomic dysfunction following injury to soft tissue or nerve. the pain is usually associated with erythema; skin temperature changes abnormal sudomotor activity i.e. changes in sweating due to altered sympathetic innervation or edema. the degree of pain and other manifestations is out of proportion to that expected from the inciting event. two subtypes of this condition have been described: type i; reflex sympathetic dystrophy and type ii; causalgia. from pain 1995 oct;631:127 33
  • REM SLEEP PARASOMNIAS-. abnormal behavioral or physiologic events that are associated with rem sleep including rem sleep behavior disorder.
  • FLANK PAIN-. pain emanating from below the ribs and above the ilium.
  • OROBANCHACEAE-. the broom rape plant family of the order lamiales.
  • PATELLOFEMORAL PAIN SYNDROME-. a syndrome characterized by retropatellar or peripatellar pain resulting from physical and biochemical changes in the patellofemoral joint. the pain is most prominent when ascending or descending stairs squatting or sitting with flexed knees. there is a lack of consensus on the etiology and treatment. the syndrome is often confused with or accompanied by chondromalacia patellae the latter describing a pathological condition of the cartilage and not a syndrome.
  • LABOR PAIN-. pain associated with obstetric labor in childbirth. it is caused primarily by uterine contraction as well as pressure on the cervix; bladder; and the gastrointestinal tract. labor pain mostly occurs in the abdomen; the groin; and the back.
  • PAIN REFERRED-. a type of pain that is perceived in an area away from the site where the pain arises such as facial pain caused by lesion of the vagus nerve or throat problem generating referred pain in the ear.
  • CATASTROPHIZATION-. cognitive and emotional processes encompassing magnification of pain related stimuli feelings of helplessness and a generally pessimistic orientation.
  • EYE PAIN-. a dull or sharp painful sensation associated with the outer or inner structures of the eyeball having different causes.
  • PAIN PERCEPTION-. the process by which pain is recognized and interpreted by the brain.
  • NOCICEPTIVE PAIN-. dull or sharp aching pain caused by stimulated nociceptors due to tissue injury inflammation or diseases. it can be divided into somatic or tissue pain and visceral pain.
  • VISCERAL PAIN-. pain originating from internal organs viscera associated with autonomic phenomena pallor; sweating; nausea; and vomiting. it often becomes a referred pain.
  • CHRONIC PAIN-. aching sensation that persists for more than a few months. it may or may not be associated with trauma or disease and may persist after the initial injury has healed. its localization character and timing are more vague than with acute pain.
  • MUSCULOSKELETAL PAIN-. discomfort stemming from muscles ligaments tendons and bones.
  • MASTODYNIA-. pain in the breast generally classified as cyclical associated with menstrual periods or noncyclical i.e. originating from the breast or nearby muscles or joints ranging from minor discomfort to severely incapacitating.
  • PELVIC GIRDLE PAIN-. discomfort associated with the bones that make up the pelvic girdle. it occurs frequently during pregnancy.
  • BREAKTHROUGH PAIN-. acute pain that comes on rapidly despite the use of pain medication.
  • PAIN MANAGEMENT-. a form of therapy that employs a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach for easing the suffering and improving the quality of life of those experiencing pain.
  • ACUTE PAIN-. intensely discomforting distressful or agonizing sensation associated with trauma or disease with well defined location character and timing.
  • MYALGIA-. painful sensation in the muscles.

Diagnostic Related Groups

The ICD-10 code R52 is grouped in the following groups for version MS-DRG V37.0 What are Diagnostic Related Groups?
The Diagnostic Related Groups (DRGs) are a patient classification scheme which provides a means of relating the type of patients a hospital treats. The DRGs divides all possible principal diagnoses into mutually exclusive principal diagnosis areas referred to as Major Diagnostic Categories (MDC).
applicable from 10/01/2020 through 09/30/2020.


Convert R52 to ICD-9

  • 338.19 - Acute pain NEC (Approximate Flag)
  • 780.96 - Generalized pain (Approximate Flag)

Code Classification

  • Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified (R00–R99)
    • General symptoms and signs (R50-R69)
      • Pain, unspecified (R52)

Code History

  • FY 2016 - New Code, effective from 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016
    (First year ICD-10-CM implemented into the HIPAA code set)
  • FY 2017 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2016 through 9/30/2017
  • FY 2018 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2017 through 9/30/2018
  • FY 2019 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2018 through 9/30/2019
  • FY 2020 - No Change, effective from 10/1/2019 through 9/30/2020

Information for Patients


Pain is a signal in your nervous system that something may be wrong. It is an unpleasant feeling, such as a prick, tingle, sting, burn, or ache. Pain may be sharp or dull. It may come and go, or it may be constant. You may feel pain in one area of your body, such as your back, abdomen, chest, pelvis, or you may feel pain all over.

Pain can be helpful in diagnosing a problem. If you never felt pain, you might seriously hurt yourself without knowing it, or you might not realize you have a medical problem that needs treatment.

There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain usually comes on suddenly, because of a disease, injury, or inflammation. It can often be diagnosed and treated. It usually goes away, though sometimes it can turn into chronic pain. Chronic pain lasts for a long time, and can cause severe problems.

Pain is not always curable, but there are many ways to treat it. Treatment depends on the cause and type of pain. There are drug treatments, including pain relievers. There are also non-drug treatments, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

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