Local anesthetics, which are widely known to be neuronal voltage-gated Na+ channel blockers, also affect a variety of other ion channels, N-methyl-D-asparate (NMDA) receptors and α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-izoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors. Glutamate, which is released from presynaptic fibers, activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) through NMDA and AMPA receptors in spinal dorsal horn neurons. ERK plays a key role in central sensitization, which contributes to the chronicity of pain. We investigated the effects of four representative local anesthetics, lidocaine, tetracaine, levobupivacaine, and ropivacaine on ERK phosphorylation induced by capsaicin, which releases glutamate from presynaptic neurons, NMDA, AMPA, or ionomycin, a calcium ionophore, in dorsal neurons. We observed capsaicin-induced phosphorylation of ERK, which was suppressed by lidocaine, tetracaine, or ropivacaine, but not by levobupivacaine. NMDA-induced phosphorylation of ERK was suppressed by lidocaine, tetracaine, or levobupivacaine, but not by ropivacaine. AMPA-induced phosphorylation of ERK was suppressed by lidocaine or tetracaine, but not by levobupivacaine or ropivacaine. Finally, ionomycin-induced ERK phosphorylation was suppressed by lidocaine, tetracaine, or ropivacaine, but not by levobupivacaine. Our results suggest that local anesthetics contribute to the prevention of the incidence of persistent postsurgical pain with varying intensities and through different mechanisms of action.