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.

Loss of temperature sense or of the ability to distinguish between heat and cold; insensibility to heat or to temperature changes.

A standard test of pain response involves applying heat to the skin, and most of us perceive pain when the skin reaches an average critical temperature of 113 degrees F (45 degrees C), and everyone, with the exception of people with serious sensory dysfunction, perceives pain before his or her skin reaches a temperature of 116.6 degrees F (47 degrees C).

Even though there are three to four times fewer heat receptors than cold receptors in the human skin, freezing cold and burning hot sensation are both experienced exactly the same. Indeed, at 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) both the cold and heat pain nerve endings are stimulated, and after a point, there is no reason to make fine distinctions—all the brain has to know is that it is very painful!

—Neil McAleer in The Body Almanac;
Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1985; page 60.
Pain caused by a slight degree of heat.

As a fever indicates that the body is fighting infection, pain has its purpose in reporting injury or internal problems. Unfortunately, pain is not a reliable indicator, and it is of limited help to a physician in forming an accurate diagnosis.

The perception of a pain’s very source may be incorrect. The tooth that one points out as the one that hurts may not be the one that’s abscessed.

That pain in a person’s arm may not be caused by a strain or injury to that area, but it could be the result of a problem in his/her heart or other organ.

These are examples of a phenomenon known as "referred pain".

—Neil McAleer in The Body Almanac;
Doubleday & Company, Inc., Garden City, New York, 1985; page 92.
1. Insensibility to heat or to temperature changes.
2. Absence of pain when heat is applied.
1. Diminished pain to heat stimuli including high temperatures.
2. A decreased feeling of pain when exposed to heat.
1. Excessive thermalgesia (pain caused by a slight degree of heat).
2. A condition in which the application of moderate heat causes extreme pain.
3. Pain induced by hot or cold stimuli at thresholds lower than normal.
Pain in the chest.
throe, throes
1. A violent spasm or pang; paroxysm.
2. A sharp attack of emotion.
3. Any violent convulsion or struggle; such as, a condition of agonizing struggle or trouble: a country in the throes of economic collapse. The agony of death, or the pains of childbirth.
4. Etymology: from Middle English throwe, perhaps an alteration of thrawe, from Old English thrawu, genitive of thrah, "pain, affliction".

Although this word, throe, is NOT related directly to this algesi- family, it is applicable in meaning.

Pain in the shin.
1. Pain localized in one spot; a symptom occurring in neuroses whereby localized pain, without evident organic basis, is experienced.
2. Localized pain occurring in neurotic subjects.
Pain in the trachea.
Pain produced when hair is touched; also, trichodynia.
Pain in the gums (gingiva) or in the mucous membrane, with the supporting fibrous tissue, that overlies the crowns of normal teeth and holds the teeth in place. Also, gingivalgia.
Pain in the ureter (the tube that conveys the urine from the kidney to the bladder).
Pain in the urethra (the canal that conveys urine from the bladder to the exterior of the body).
Pain in or near the uterus, the organ in a woman's body where babies grow.

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.