5 of the Worst Types of Pain to Experience

Did you know that 50 million adults in the U.S.–or one in five people–experience chronic pain? 

It goes without saying that chronic pain, or severe discomfort that persists for more than three months, is far from uncommon. But what are some of the most painful conditions? 

Keep reading to learn about 5 of the most painful conditions people can experience.

  1. Back Pain

Close to 65 million Americans say they’ve experienced back pain, and around 16 million adults–8% in total–experience chronic back pain. Back pain is a big problem. It’s also a costly one that wracks up healthcare expenses of more than $12 billion annually. 

What causes back pain? Heavy lifting, slip and fall events, car accidents, and awkward movements are among the chief culprits. They can result in damaged spinal ligaments and back muscles. 

If you end up with ruptured or bulging disks, chronic back pain can make it challenging to lead a normal life. If you’re having trouble with your back and are experiencing symptoms like night pain, numbness, or tingling, it’s time to see a spine specialist who can assess, diagnose, and treat your condition.

  1. Kidney Stones

Did you know that one in 10 people will experience kidney stones at some point in their lives? According to the National Kidney Foundation, north of 500,000 people have to go to emergency rooms due to kidney stone issues each year. Sometimes the stones are small enough to evacuate the body without causing too much discomfort–but other times, the stones cause painful blockages. 

If you’re ever among those who get kidney stones, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never forget the ordeal, not for a moment. It’s believed that people who get kidney stones generally don’t drink enough water, don’t get enough exercise, consume food with too much sugar or salt, or are overweight. Kidney stones are hard objects manufactured by chemicals present in urine. 

  1. Childbirth

While medications can be administered to make childbirth less painful for women, there’s no denying that childbirth can be a painful process. It can cause severe discomfort in the lower back–and the pain will peak during contractions. This can make it harder for women to push. Non-medication options include repositioning the mother-to-be so she’s no longer lying on her back.

  1. Post-Surgery Pain

Among the worst type of pain anyone can experience is post-surgery discomfort. Of course, the type of surgery will impact how much pain is experienced post-surgery. Some sources say post-surgery pain following knee replacement surgery is especially acute. The process involves cutting through bone, so the recovery phase can be incredibly uncomfortable.  

  1. Sickle Cell Disease

This condition occurs when red blood cells shaped like sickles impede blood flow through blood vessels to the joints, chest, and abdomen. The periodic pain episodes can last for several hours up to a few days. It’s an inherited ailment caused by a gene defect. While there’s no cure for sickle cell disease, there are treatments that can lessen the severity of the pain.

The painful conditions listed above are by no means the only ones. In fact, there are tons more. But the ones mentioned represent a handful of the most painful conditions that people can experience. 

If you experience any painful symptoms, you’ll want to get checked out sooner rather than later. You’ll mainly find this to be the case if the pain is chronic. Proper diagnosis is the first step toward getting the help you need. 

In some cases, medical treatment can fix the problem entirely. And in other cases, medical professionals can provide treatment or medicine to give you some relief.

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