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Affixes: the building blocks of English
Affixes: the building blocks of English

-algia Also -algic.

Pain, usually in a specified part of the body.

[Greek algos, pain.]

Most words ending in -algia are specialist medical terms, but a few are more generally known, such as neuralgia, intense intermittent pain along the course of a nerve.

One that seems not to fit here is nostalgia, a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past; this first entered the language meaning homesickness (Greek nostos, return home), hence having a sense close to ‘pain of separation’.

A few terms have linked adjectives in -algic, for example arthralgic, myalgic, neuralgic, and nostalgic.

Examples of words in -algia
Word origins are from Greek.

arthralgia pain in a joint arthron, a joint
causalgia severe burning pain in a limb caused by injury to a peripheral nerve kausos, heat or fever
cephalalgia headache kephalē, head
erythromelalgia a disease caused by dilation of the peripheral blood vessels, associated with burning, redness of the skin, and pain eruthros, red, plus melos, limb
gastralgia pain in the stomach gastēr or gastr-, stomach
mastalgia pain in the breast caused by congestion during lactation, or other causes mastos, breast
myalgia pain in a muscle or group of muscles mus, muscle
neuralgia intense, typically intermittent pain along the course of a nerve, especially in the head or face neuron, a nerve
ostalgia a pain associated with some abnormal condition in a bone osteon, bone
otalgia earache ōtalgia, from ous or ōt-, ear
prosopalgia stabbing pain in the face, also called trigeminal neuralgia prosōpon, face
rachialgia pain in or due to the spine rhakhis, spine

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