Medical Definition of Fear of pain

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Fear of pain: An abnormal and persistent fear of pain. The fear is excessive, beyond that which is expected under the circumstances, producing an anxiety reaction.

Fear of pain is termed "algophobia," a word derived from the Greek "algos" (pain) and "phobos" (fear). Note that an "algometer" is an instrument for measuring pain (it does so by gauging the smallest pressure that produces pain).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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