algesi-, alge-, alges-, algesio-, algi-, algio-, -algesia, -algesic, -algetic, -algic, -algia, -algy

(Greek: pain, sense of pain; painful; hurting)

Used actively in medical terminology to denote a condition of sensitivity to pain as specified by the combining root.

abdominalgia
Pain in the abdomen or a belly ache.
acromelalgia; erythromelalgia
1. A throbbing and burning pain in the skin often caused by exertion or heat, affecting the hands and feet, accompanied by a dusky mottled redness of the parts with increased skin temperature.
2. A rare disorder of middle age, characterized by attacks of severe burning pain, reddening, hyperalgesia and sweating, involving one or more extremities, usually both feet; the attacks can be triggered by warmth, and are usually relieved by cold and limb elevation.
3. A condition affecting the extremities, especially the feet, marked by burning and throbbing sensations that come and go.
acrostealgia
Painful inflammation of the bones of the hands and feet.
acupuncture analgesia (s) (noun), acupuncture analgesias (pl)
Feeling no pain or very little pain which is produced by the insertion of needles at certain points on the body: The acupuncture analgesia is used to activate small myelinated nerve fibers in the muscles which transmit impulses to the spinal cord and then activate three centers; including, the spinal cord, the midbrain, and the pituitary or hypothalamus in order to prevent feeling any pain.

adenalgia
A glandular pain; a painful swelling in a gland.
adiposalgia
1. A condition in which painful areas of subcutaneous fat develop.
2. A neuropathic state in which there are painful areas of subcutaneous fat.
aerodontalgia
1. Toothache experienced at lowered atmospheric pressures, as in aircraft flight or in a decompression chamber, caused by the expansion of air in the maxillary sinuses.
2. Dental pain caused by either increased or reduced atmospheric pressure; also aero-odontalgia.
aero-odontalgia
Another term for aerodontalgia.
alganesthesia (s) (noun), alganesthesias (pl)
1. Absence of the sensibility to pain; even with painful or pernicious stimulations; designating particularly the relief of pain without loss of consciousness: The monitored dose of medication produced a state of alganesthesia allowing Dolly to be conscious without experiencing pain.
2. A neurologic or pharmacologic state in which painful stimuli are so moderated that, though still perceived, they are no longer painful: Dr. Jones, the neurologist, studied the effect of the new medication on the alganesthesia of patients from the combat zone.

Beyond the pleasures and assurances of touch, there is always the looming possibility of pain. As a survival mechanism, pain warns our brains of danger and tells us to act to correct or avoid the cause.

Pain receptors, free nerve endings, are spread over a larger area than any of the other sensory receptors. They completely ignore light contact, and only fire up if the stimuli threaten to damage the tissue.

There are more pain receptors in the skin than other types of skin sensors, but they are not evenly distributed; for example, the neck and eyelids are densely covered, but there are few receptors on the sole of the feet and on the ball of the thumb, which is why the needle prick for a blood sample is often done on the thumb.

—Compiled from information presented in
"The Pain beyond Touch" in The Body Almanac; by Neil McAleer;
Doubleday & Company, Inc.; Garden City, New York; 1985; page59.
algedonic
Relating to pain; painful.
algedonic, algedonia
Characterized by or relating to pleasure and pain, or the agreeable and the disagreeable.
algeoscopy
The application of pressure to detect tenderness.
algesia
The sense of pain; sensitiveness to pain.

Though familiar to us all, pain is mercifully difficult to remember once it has passed (if it were not, it has been observed, every family would have but one child).

Doctors refer to the short-lived suffering of childbirth or surgery or even a toothache as ‘acute pain’; it is terrible at the time, but ultimately it passes.

For untold millions, however, pain does not pass. It sings on through the night, month after month, overwhelming sleep, stifling pleasure, shrinking experience, until there is nothing but pain.

This is chronic pain, and its sufferers are legion: there are more than 36 million arthritics in the U.S.; there are 70 million with agonizing back pain; about 20 million who suffer from blinding migraines; millions more who are racked by diseases like sciatica and gout.

Most feared of all, the pain associated with cancer afflicts some 800,000 Americans and 18 million people world wide.”

Albert Schweitzer once said, "Pain is a more terrible lord of mankind than even death himself."

—Compiled from "Unlocking Pain’s Secrets";
in the June 11, 1984, cover-story of Time magazine.
algesic
1. Painful; related to or causing pain.
2. Relating to hypersensitivity to pain; also, algetic.
Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other.
—Laurence Sterne
algesic
Relating to or producing pain; painful.

You may take self-scoring quizzes over some of the words in this unit by going to Algesi Quiz to check your word knowledge of these words.