20 Of The Most Excruciating Pains A Human Can Experience

By Emily 1 year ago

1. Toothache

Image source: BBCAh, the dreaded toothache. It can be a sharp, stabbing pain that makes it difficult to eat, sleep, or even concentrate. It's especially frustrating when you can't get to the dentist right away to have the problem fixed. One of those pains that you'll only appreciate if you've had it before, it ain't pretty but at the bottom of this list, it looks pretty petty compared to what's ahead...

2. Migraines

Image source: NarcityMigraines are the worst. They're like a really intense headache on steroids. It feels like there's a jackhammer in your brain, and you're so sensitive to light and sound that you just want to crawl into a dark hole and die. And don't even get me started on the nausea. Ugh.

3. Food poisoning

Image source: YoutubeNo one likes to get food poisoning, but it can happen to the best of us. Symptoms may include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. At its worst, you can be wiped out, hardly ably to leave the bathroom (which end will it come out of next....!?) It's not pleasant, but it usually goes away on its own within a few days.

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Image source: RedditIf you have IBS, your colon doesn't know whether to act up or calm down. It's a disorder that causes the large intestine to contract more or less than normal, leading to abdominal pain, bloating, and some very smelly changes in bowel movements. Sounds like a blast, right?

5. Phantom Limb Pain

Image source: Restore Medical PartnersPhantom limb pain is a type of pain that occurs in a limb that has been amputated. It's like your brain is still sending pain signals to your missing limb, and it can feel like a burning, cramping, or aching sensation. If you're not in physical pain you're sure to feel emotionally pretty out of whack a) you've lost a limb and b) you can still feel it! Weird and confusing to say the least...

6. Chronic Acid Reflux Disease

Image source: RedditHeartburn, anyone? GERD is a chronic acid reflux condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and throat. It can be uncomfortable and even painful. What's worst is that the cures are pretty few and far between - you can hardly stop eating or have your esophagus removed. A lifetime of discomfort when eating, that would suck!

7. Shingles

Image source: RedditShingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash on your skin. It feels like a burning, stabbing pain and can be super uncomfortable. It's like someone is taking a hot poker to your skin and then rubbing salt in the wound. And if that wasn't bad enough, it can also cause fatigue and fever. Not fun.

8. Sunburn

Image source: RedditWe all love to soak up some sun, but it's important to remember to protect our skin. A sunburn can be a real drag, causing redness, inflammation, and lots of discomfort. It's especially painful if you have to put clothes on over the burned area. Ever taken a shower after burning yourself? Yeah, it's horrendous!

9. Hangovers

Image source: Business InsiderAh, the joys of a hangover. If you've had a little too much to drink, you may be in for a rough morning. Headaches, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound are common hangover symptom and boy do they make you feel sick. The older we get, the worse our bodies seem to be at dealing with the symptoms, urgh - if only I could have stayed 21 forever!

10. Insect Stings

Image source: InsiderThese can be a real nuisance and surprisingly painful. If you're allergic - forget it, it's a trip to the ER. Mosquitoes, bees, and wasps are among the most common culprits with the pain ranging from a mild annoyance to a full-blown allergic reaction. Of course there are some insects that deliver pain FAR beyond that felt from a typical sting. We'll hear about those later...

11. Bone Fractures

Image source: eBaum's WorldOuch! If you've ever broken a bone, you know just how painful it can be. Whether it's a simple fracture or a more serious break, the pain can be intense and ongoing. It's especially difficult when you have to keep the injured limb immobile in a cast or brace. A girl at my preschool broke both her arms at once, imagine that!

12 Rheumatoid Arthritis

Image source: WikipediaRheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic joint pain and stiffness. It's a nagging, persistent pain that can really take a toll on your body. It's like your joints are constantly sore and swollen, and even simple tasks like gripping a pen or turning a doorknob can be a struggle. But with the right treatment and management, you can still live a full and active life despite RA.

13. Gallstones

Image source: BBCGallstones are a real pain in the...well, you know. They can cause a sharp pain in your upper right abdomen that radiates to your back or shoulder blade. It's like someone is poking you with a sharp object and then twisting it for good measure. And if you have to have surgery to remove them, that's just another added layer of misery. But hey, at least you'll be stone-free afterwards!

14. Appendicitis

Image source: RedditAppendicitis is a painful inflammation of the appendix that requires surgery. It's a sharp pain in your lower right abdomen that can also cause fever and vomiting. It's like someone is punching you in the stomach and then decides to add a little extra nausea for fun. But the good news is that once your appendix is out, you'll never have to worry about it causing problems again.

15. Third Degree Burns

Image source: Mayo ClinicBurns are no joke. Whether it's a minor burn from touching a hot pan or a more serious burn from a fire or chemical, the pain can be intense and ongoing. The most serious, third degree burns can leave scarring and cause skin sensitivity and a deformed appearance for life.

16. Scleroderma

Image source: Johns HopkinsThis is a rare autoimmune disorder that causes the skin and connective tissue to become hard and thick. It can be very painful, especially in the joints, and can also lead to problems with internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and kidneys. I guess this adds a whole new (and pretty sad) meaning to having a thick skin.

17. Kidney Stones

Image source: RedditKidney stones are the worst. They feel like a sharp, stabbing pain in your lower back and can radiate down to your stomach and groin. It's like a knife is being twisted inside of you. Plus, they can be really hard to pass, which just adds to the misery. But hey, at least you get to drink lots of fluids and pee a lot, right?

18. Cancer Pain

Image source: New ScientistCancer pain is a whole other level of agony. It can be a dull ache that just never goes away, or a sharp, stabbing pain that makes you want to curl up into a ball and cry. And if you're going through cancer treatment, the pain can be exacerbated by the side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. It's a tough road, and it takes a lot of strength and determination to get through it.

19. Multiple Sclerosis

Image source: NASGPMultiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord. In people with MS, the immune system attacks the protective covering around the nerves, causing inflammation and damage. This messes with the nerves' ability to communicate, which can lead to a bunch of different symptoms, including pain.

20. Sciatica

Image source: YoutubeIf you’ve ever had a trapped nerve then you’ll likely remember how much pain you were in. Now imagine that NON STOP. Sciatica is a type of pain that is caused by irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back down through the legs. It can be quite debilitating, causing pain, numbness, and tingling in the lower back, buttocks, and legs.

21. Ulcerative proctitis

Image source: Medspace ReferenceThis one's bas news for your rectum. It's a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lower part of the colon and back passage, causing rectal bleeding, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Ulcers in your arse basically. Add to the physical pain the fact it's to do with your rectum and yeah... spot 10 feels well deserved.

22. Peptic Ulcer Disease

Image source: Steve Grant HealthThis one's a real stomach-turner. It's when painful sores, called ulcers, form in the lining of the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus. The pain can be severe and may come and go, often occurring a few hours after eating. Some people have Peptic Ulcer Disease combined with Chronic Acid Reflux (which we heard about before). Poor souls.

23. Tracheal Stoma

Image source: Sciencedirect.comThis one may not be as well-known, but it can be a real pain in the neck...(literally!) A tracheal stoma is an opening in the neck that is made when a person has to have a tracheostomy, which is a surgical procedure that creates an opening in the windpipe. The stoma can be sore and uncomfortable, and it can also make it difficult to speak or swallow.

24. Crohn's disease

Image source: Viquepedia.comThis is another type of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the digestive tract. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. It is also a chronic condition that requires ongoing management. Pete Davidson has talked openly about having Crohn's and the fact he uses marijuana to self medicate the pain of the illness.

25. Fibromyalgia

Image source: Entertainment WeeklyThis chronic pain disorder was brought to our attention by Lady Gaga who suffers with it. It’s characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and tenderness in certain areas of the body. It can be a real pain in the butt to deal with, but luckily there are a variety of treatments available to help manage symptoms but this doesn't change the fact it's a condition which leaves you in constant pain.

26. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)

Image source: CureusAlso known as "reflex sympathetic dystrophy," this is a condition that occurs when there is damage to the sympathetic nervous system (which controls blood flow and sweat gland activity). It can cause severe pain, swelling, and changes in skin temperature and color in the affected area. Imagine literally being scared to get too hot or cold, ouch.

27. Curb Stomping

Image source: QuoraCurb stomping is a violent and aggressive physical attack in which a person is stomped on while their head is held against the curb. This type of attack can cause serious injury or commonly death and is considered one of the most serious violent crimes. It was widely used by the brutal Nazi forces.

28. Bullet Ant Sting

Image source: YoutubeThe sting of a bullet ant is known to be extremely painful. It has been described as feeling like a bullet wound, with a sharp, shooting pain that can last for several hours (all from one tiny ant - mother nature is pretty awesome sometimes!). Some people have described the pain as the most intense they have ever experienced. In addition to the initial pain, the affected area may become swollen and tender for several DAYS after the sting.

29. Childbirth

Image source: Mamas UncutChildbirth is definitely one of the most intense pains a person can experience. It's like a really, really bad stomachache mixed with a burning sensation and the feeling that you need to push a watermelon out of a tiny hole. And let's not forget the contractions! They can feel like your uterus is trying to squeeze the life out of you. But on the bright side, it's all worth it in the end when you get to meet your little bundle of joy.

30. Trigeminal Neuralgia

Image source: Yahoo Life UKTrigeminal neuralgia, also known as "the suicide disease," is a chronic pain disorder that affects the trigeminal nerve in your face. It's like having an electric shock in your cheek, jaw, or lips every time you talk, eat, or even brush your teeth. It's been called the suicide disease because the pain can be so unbearable that some people can't take it anymore.

31. Heart attack

Image source/ RedditA heart attack happens when the blood supply is cut off somewhere in the body, perhaps because of a clot or blockages. It's a medical emergency and the pain can be excruciating. It can vary from a feeling of heavy pressure to sharp intense pain or a restrictive squeezing sensation.

32. Dercum’s disease

Image source/ RedditDercum's disease occurs due to extreme fatty tumours in the body. It can cause unbearable pain. The disease is very rare and can be linked to a variety of different disorders. One the disease has been diagnosed, the pain can be managed better through pain relief medication.

33. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

Image source/ RedditComplex regional pain syndrome can cause severe and debilitating pain in an area of the body. It usually develops as a result of an injury, however, the effects of the pain last much longer than is usual. The symptoms can include stinging, swelling, burning, spasms...it is a very painful and complex syndrome.

34. Acute pancreatitis

Image source. BMJreportsAcute pancreatitis happens as a result of an inflamed pancreas. The inflammation it causes may be short terms or chronic, and the pain it causes can be extreme. The pain can also spread to your back as the pain grows and displaces. One of the most common causes of the illness is due to gallstones.

35. Pain after surgery

Image source/ RedditAnyone who has had surgery will know that it's no easy road to recovery. The pain after surgery is very raw, and every move can cause a huge amount of pain and discomfort. Depending on the kind of surgery this will vary massively - but any surgery puts your body through a lot!

36. Sickle cell disease

Image source/TheLancetSickle cell disease is a blood disorder which is inherited. The red blood cells change in shape, meaning that people with sickle cell disease will endure frequent infections as well as pain, swelling and extreme fatigue! The disease has to be properly managed with frequent medical attention.

37. Stomach ulcer

Image source/ RedditStomach ulcers are sores which occur on the lining of the stomach and they can cause a lot of stomach discomfort and pain including a strong burning sensation. There are ways treat stomach ulcers and help relieve the pain in your stomach either through medication or even surgery.

38. Gout

Image source/ RedditGout is a condition which is a kind of arthritis which causes inflammation of the joints because of an excessive amount of uric acid. The pain it causes is intense and can really affect your joints. It can flare up in 'attacks' where the pain will be extreme, and then should subside slightly.

39. Endometriosis

Image source/ RedditEndometriosis is a medical condition where tissues (similar to the tissue on our womb/uterus) also grows outside of the uterus - for example, the ovaries. It can cause women horrible pain, where there will be sudden cramping similar to that of menstruation pain but far more extreme.

40. Ulcerative colitis

Image source/ RedditUlcerative colitis is a painful condition where the rectum and colon inflame and develop sores, causing extreme discomfort as well as sometimes blood or pus and stomach cramping. Of course with this disease going to the toilet can be excruciating.

41. Cluster headaches

Image source/ RedditCluster headaches do not happen frequently, it is a rare thing to experience them. But they can happen to anyone. They are a serious of very intense and severe headaches which happen in one area of the head so for a period of time there ix extreme pain in one side of your head.

42. Frozen shoulder

Image source/ RedditFrozen shoulder is a condition where the shoulder feels as though it cannot move, it stiffens up so that the mobility stops in the area due to the thickening and tightening of the joint area. It can last from months to even years and it is extremely painful to try and move it.

43. Esophageal Achalasia

Image source/ RedditEsophageal achalasia is a gastrointestinal disease which makes it very difficult for food or fluid to be able to pass through to the stomach. Not only can it be very painful but it can also be really dangerous and if you experience the symptoms you should seek medical attention.

44. Broken bones

Image source/ RedditIf you've ever broken a bone before, you can testify to the fact that it's no laughing matter. It hurts. Really hurts. The recovery is a very lengthy one and any twists or turns will cause pain. Some bones are worse than others. For example, if you break you sternum the pain can be extreme.

45. Slipped disk

Image source/ RedditA slipped disc is what we refer to the medical name herniated disc, which means a disc between the bones of the spine (the hard and soft area) have ruptures. It can cause pain in the lower back as well as neck pain and even numbness or a tingling sensation.

46. Punctured lung

Image source/ RedditA Pneumothorax is what we more commonly refer to as a punctured lung. The feeling it can cause is a very sharp chest feeling, usually located near to the lung or the middle of the chest. The pain gets even more severe when you breathe in as the sharpness increases.

47. Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever

Image source/ RedditThe virus Ebola can cause Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever. When you develop this fever, not only do you become very ill but the accumulation of symptoms will cause pain, for example a severe case of muscle pain, headache sore throat along with a fever and extreme fatigue.

48. Interstitial Cystitis

Image source/ RedditInterstitial cystitis is a chronic condition located in the bladder. One of the symptoms is needing to pass urine a lot more frequently. It can be a highly discomforting illness which can cause stomach pain, back pain as well pain in the lower area of the stomach/groin.

49. Peripheral Neuropathy

Image source/ RedditPeripheral Neuropathy is a disease which affects the nerves in the ends of your hands and feet most commonly, as well as other peripheral areas of the body. It can cause pain as well as weakness and numbness. It is often caused by diabetes and is more common in older people.

50. Peritonitis

Image source/ RedditPeritonitis is inflammation of the peritonium - which in layman terms is involved with the lining of the stomach wall and organs. It can be very dangerous as well as very painful. It can cause acute abdominal pain and can make you feel very tender in that region, or very full!

51. Torn Achilles Tendon

Image source: reddit.com
The Achilles is the largest tendon in the body - which means when it does tear, that's a whole lot of pain. Found from mid calf down to your heel at the back of your foot, it's most commonly torn by athletes or people taking part in sports. People who have been through it have said it feels like being shot in the back of the ankle.

52. Being Kicked In The Balls

Image source: sickchirpse.com
Ask any guy the worst pain they can think of, they'll probably tell you this one first. This pain is even worse because it's not just a sharp pain in the testes themselves - it's a shooting pain that travels all up the body, makes the stomach and pelvis feel like agony, too, and then even makes the person feel violently nauseous.

53. Period Pain

Image source: reddit.com
Some people don't experience agonising period pain - while others do. And when it's bad, it's bad. Doctors have confirmed in recent years that bad period cramps can be as painful as a heart attack. The uterus is literally shredding itself up inside you and spitting the bits out. Period pain is all the more worse because you have to deal with back agony, tiredness and hormone changes, too.

54. Animal Attack Injuries

Image source: abcnews.com
The pain from animal attack injuries usually comes from the fact that you might have several different injuries at once. People who have been mauled by animals like tigers and bears might not even live to tell the tale most of the time. The people who have been lucky enough to survive have described missing limbs, large chunks taken out of them, puncture marks and broken bones - to say the least.

55. Second Degree Burns

Image source: reddit.com
While third degree burns are what most people associate with the most pain, second degree can actually be worse. This is because third degree burns can damage so much skin that it sort of numbs the pain because there's not much left to hurt. Second degree burns, on the other hand, will be bad enough to affect all layers of the skin, whilst making sure the pain is definitely felt.

56. Tetanus

Image source: reddit.com
Tetanus is a bacterial infection that actually releases poison into the body. This poison then makes the muscles rigid, which is extremely painful. It often affects the jaw which can leave the person unable to move their mouth open or closed. People who contract tetanus need an emergency treatment to get the painful muscle spasms under control!

57. Stonefish Sting

Image source: reddit.com
Stonefish, as the name suggests, is a fish that can easily blend in with the stones on the ocean floor because of its camouflage. They're found in the Indo-Pacific, and if you accidentally step on one, you can suffer a particularly painful bite. The stonefish will release toxins, and the bite can even be fatal if it releases a high amount of toxins. You can expect pain and swelling, nausea, paralysis and seizures.

58. Tooth Abscess

Image source: reddit.com
Anything to do with the tooth is especially painful, but an abscess definitely so. This is because they can be very close to a lot of nerves in the mouth. With an abscess, tooth decay means bacteria gets into the tooth and causes an infection which then might spread to the bones. The pain is bad enough, but you might also have swelling and a fever.

59. Gonadal Torsion

Image source: beva.onlinelibrary.wiley.com
This refers to testicular torsion or ovarian torsion - both very painful. With testicles, this is when the spermatic cord gets twisted and the blood supply cut off. With ovaries, this is when the ovary is twisted so much that the artery or vein is cut off. The pain usually extends to severe abdominal pain for both cases!

60. Penile Fracture

Image source: reddit.com
This is definitely one of the worst injuries ever - and, even worse, it can happen during sex when you're least expecting it! Basically, the penis will run into blunt trauma which can cause it to crack from the pressure - sort of like a broken bone would pop out. You can expect swelling, bruising and, of course, horrible pain.

61. Trauma

Image source: reddit.com
Trauma like with a sudden wound or gunshot wound can be increasingly painful, and the onset of sudden excruciating pain can give way to other issues like rising blood pressure, panic and a quickened pulse. Trauma patients must also explain clearly to doctors how much pain they're in, which is why they're usually asked 'On a scale of 1 to 10...'

62. Recovery From Head And Neck Surgery

Image source: reddit.com
Pain after any surgery is difficult and expected, but head and neck can apparently be the worst for post-op pain. Surgery which had to be done in areas like the throat and neck, or somewhere tender in the head, are bound to be in more pain during their recovery when trying to go about everyday routine compared to something like the leg or arm.

63. Osteaoarthritis In The Major Joints

Image source: msdmanuals.com
Major joints include the hips and the knees, and when you have osteoarthiritis in these places, every single movement is going to cause great pain. This condition means that the bones are rubbing painfully together due to lack of cartilage after it wears out. As well as painful, it can make it difficult to move.

64. Degenerative Disc Disease

Image source: reddit.com
This type of back pain is enough to keep you up at night, causing shooting pain through your body and just be relentless agony for the people putting up with it. It can stop people doing simple, daily tasks, like standing up to brush their teeth, because it's so painful. This type of pain can be chronic because of degeneration over time.

65. Pain From Bone Cancer

Image source: reddit.com
Any sort of cancer is painful, but bone pain can be one of the worst. This pain can come from having bone cancer itself, or if you're suffering from other types of cancer that have spread to the bone and causing pain there, too. This type of pain can be described as tender and aching, especially at night.

66. Spinal Headaches

Image source: reddit.com
Spinal headaches usually come from a tear made during a spinal tap procedure, which unfortunately need to be made during the procedure and can't be helped. The leaking of fluid from the tap can then result in a very painful headache caused by the spine. This could also be accompanied by feeling sick, dizzy and stiff.

67. Cracked Rib

Image source: reddit.com
Broken and cracked ribs can be very painful, and very tender. If you've cracked a rib, you may feel a very heavy and strong pain across your chest. This makes it difficult to breathe because you're going to be in a lot of pain every time you try to inhale or exhale. You may also have swelling and tenderness.

68. A Sprain

Image source: reddit.com
This might not sound that bad, but sometimes a sprain can actually be more painful than a broken bone. A sprain happens through trauma and stress put on a joint or ligaments. You can have a very mild sprain compared to a very bad sprain, and the worst kind can be considerable pain for a long time, especially if it's something like the ankle when you can't walk on it.

69. Emotional Pain

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Psychological distress and emotional pain can actually be some of the worst type of pain you can experience, and this is because it can often result in a physical reaction in the body. If you've ever gone through depression or PTSD, the severity of emotional pain can result in pains in the body that are difficult to deal with.

70. Irukandji Syndrome

Image source: reddit.com
This very painful condition comes as a result of being stung by certain species of jellyfish. Not only is it painful, but it's potentially life-threatening if it's bad enough. With this kind of jellyfish sting, you can expect agony, muscle cramps, heart complications and high blood pressure. You may even get pain and cramps in your stomach.

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