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 (s) (noun) (no pl)
Pain in the abdomen or a belly ache: When Nancy went to her doctor because of suffering from irritations in her stomach area, Dr. Smith told her the archaic term for her discomfort which was abdominalgia, or simply abdominal pain in the current medical language.
acromelalgia, erythromelalgia (s) (noun) (no pl)
A rare disorder of middle age, characterized by attacks of a severe burning pain, a reddening of the skin, hyperalgesia and sweating, involving one or more extremities: Acromelalgia occurs usually in both feet and the attacks can be triggered by warmth, and are usually relieved by cold packs and limb elevation.

Acromelalgia is a condition affecting the extremities, especially the feet, and marked by burning and throbbing sensations that come and go.

The throbbing and burning pain in the skin is often caused by exertion or heat, affecting the hands and feet, accompanied by a dusky mottled redness of the parts with increased skin temperature.

acrostealgia (s) (noun), acrostealgias (pl)
In pathology, painful inflammation of the bones of the hands and feet: An acrostealgia refers to the tender and swelling inflammation of a apophysis, which is a bony tumor.
acupuncture analgesia (s) (noun), acupuncture analgesias (pl)
The lack of feeling 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 experiencing any discomfort or suffering.

adenalgia (s) (noun) (no pl)
A glandular pain; a painful swelling in a gland; adenodynia: The rarely use term adenalgia refers to a glandular irritation and tenderness, including a swelling of a lymph node.
adiposalgia (s) (noun) (no pl)
A condition in which painful areas of subcutaneous fat develop: Adiposalgia is an old-fashioned term referring to a neuropathic state in which there are aching, sore, or tender parts of subcutaneous fat in a person's body.
aerodontalgia, aero-odontalgia (s) (noun) (no pl)
A toothache experienced at lowered atmospheric pressures: Aerodontalgia can occur in an aircraft flight or in a decompression chamber and is caused by the expansion of air in the maxillary sinuses.

Dental pain is caused either by increased or reduced atmospheric pressure.

alganesthesia (s) (noun), alganesthesias (pl)
1. Lack of the sensibility to pain, even with painful or pernicious stimulations and 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 (adjctive), more algedonic, most algedonic
Relating to something pleasurable or agreeable; concerning something painful or disagreeable: Janet experienced very algedonic and smarting feet when she accidentally walked on some broken glass on her kitchen floor.
algeoscopy (s) (noun), algeoscopies (pl)
The application of pressure to detect tenderness: Dr. Mathews used algeoscopy to ascertain any sore or tender areas in June's abdomen.
algesia (s) (noun), algesias (pl)
The sense of pain; sensitiveness to pain: Josephine was a very delicate child and very algesia especially when she fell down from her bike.

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 (adjective), more algesic, most algesic
Painful; related to or causing pain; hypersensitivity to pain; algetic: Jack was very algesic when he was a child and cried every time he bumped into something or fell down.
Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other.
—Laurence Sterne
algesichronometer (s) (noun), algesichronometers (pl)
An instrument for recording the time required for the perception of a painful stimulus: Algesichronometer is a device used to determine the time needed to cause an unpleasant or agonizing effect.
algesimeter (s) (noun), algesimeters (pl)
An instrument used in measuring the sensitiveness to, or the perception threshold for pain as produced with a sharp point or an apparatus for determining the sensitiveness of the skin: After the operation on Mary's right leg, Dr. Martin used an algesimeter to determine the amount of sensation in her right foot.
algesimetry (s) (noun) (no pl)
1. The measurement of sensitivity to pain: In her medical studies, Susan learned that algesimetry was important in determining the sense of feeling as a healthy response in a patient.
2. The science of responses to painful or unpleasant stimuli: Part of Mike's medical studies involved a course in algesimetry involving a person's reaction to the stimulus of of pain.

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.