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Algesimeter, Germany, 1875-1900

Algesimeter, Germany, 1875-1900

Credits: National Railway Museum

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The retractable needle in this instrument tests very fine sensitivity to pain or touch. The needle is inserted into the skin until a specific pain response is given. Measuring pain is controversial because pain thresholds vary from person to person. Some assessments take into account pain intensity. Others look at the long-term impact on the person’s life. Pain may be measured to test pain-relieving drugs. This may be as part of a medical assessment or as part of psychological testing. The instrument is sometimes called an algometer. It was made in Germany by instrument maker Medicinisches Warenhaus.

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Glossary: algesimeter

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