Pain is the main symptom that affects the people. Of all the causes that lead a person to seek medical attention, pain is the main one.
We have all experienced several acute pain patterns throughout our lives, whether due to trauma, burns or complications of an infection, such as sore throat or toothache. In women, the most remembered pain is that which occurs during childbirth.
However, some people have health problems that are so painful that it makes a little bump that you had with the little toe on the edge of the bed look ridiculous.
Today, we are going to talk about 10 diseases that cause the worst pain that people can experience.
10 Most Painful Diseases
Before starting with the list, some clarifications are important.
Pain is a subjective symptom, whose intensity varies greatly from person to person. The same disease can cause a painful pain in one patient and only moderate pain in another. This is because some people naturally have greater pain tolerance than others, diseases do not necessarily reach everyone with the same intensity. A small stone in the kidney causes much less pain than a large stone in the kidney, for example.
Therefore, defining what are the 10 most painful conditions of humanity is not an easy task. Classifying them in order of ranking is even more difficult, since, for this to be possible, it would be necessary that the same person could have all these pains so that he could say which of them was the worst.
Thus, what we will do in this text is to describe 10 health problems that are relatively common and often lead the patient to say that it was the worst pain he has ever felt in his life, be it due to his intensity, chronicity or his ability to make the patient an unproductive person.
10. Renal Colic
Renal colic, which is the name given to the pain caused by a kidney stone, is a mandatory presence in the list of painful diseases, not only because it is really intense, but also is quite common.
Kidney colic is often described by women as a much more intense pain than they felt during labor.
The pain of the kidney stone crisis is usually located in the back or in the region of the abdomen and can also radiate to the groin, scrotum or thighs. It appears suddenly and is so intense that it usually leaves the patient restless and unable to find a position that produces relief.
Fortunately, renal colic is a self-limiting pain. Although too intense, lasts only a few hours and responds relatively well to analgesics intravenously or intramuscularly.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease of unknown cause that causes generalized muscle pain and hypersensitivity in many areas of the body.
Despite the pain, exams are always normal. There is no detectable change in laboratory tests, nor in common imaging tests, such as x-rays, ultrasounds, scans, etc. Beyond the pain, the doctor can not identify changes through the physical examination of the patient. The biopsies performed on the muscles, tendons and ligaments reveal nothing, there are no signs of inflammation, injuries, much less structural changes.
It is believed that the brain of patients with fibromyalgia is excessively sensitive to the pain signals that come through the nerves. Stimuli that are painless or not painful for most people are interpreted as intense pain in the brain of the fibromyalgic patient.
When asked where the pain is, patients with fibromyalgia respond: everything hurts. They are in constant pain, which worsens to the touch and appear in various parts of the body, such as neck, shoulders, lumbar, hips, ankles, elbows and knees.
8. Postherpetic Neuralgia
Herpes zoster, popularly known as shingles, is an infectious disease caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus, which causes chicken pox.
Herpes zoster is a reactivation of the varicella virus, which usually remains “hidden” in our nerves for several years after its first appearance. Unlike chickenpox, which includes lesions scattered throughout the body, shingles forms more localized lesions, usually in the region of the skin innervated by the nerves where the virus is “hidden.” This rash is usually painful and lasts a few days.
Approximately 10 to 15% of patients with herpes zoster develop a complication called postherpetic neuralgia, which is a complication characterized by the permanence of pain in the affected area, even after a long time of resolution of the lesion. The infection disappears, but the pain remains. In some cases, the pain of postherpetic neuralgia is so intense and continuous that it can lead the patient to depression and disability.
7. Phantom Limb
Phantom limb pain is a complex phenomenon that can occur after the amputation of a limb such as an arm or leg. Although the patient does not have the limb anymore, he feels pain as if he had.
Phantom limb pain can be fiery, pricking, crushing, twisting or electricshock. It can be chronic and intense enough to disturb the patient’s daily life. Beyond the pain, the person can also feel other sensations, as if the arm or leg were still there, type movement, heat, pressure, vibration and even itching.
Inadequate control of pain in the preoperative and postoperative phases of amputation seems to increase the patient’s risk of developing phantom limb pain.
6. Trigeminal Neuralgia
The trigeminal nerve is one of the 12 pairs of nerves that innervate the face and head. It is so called because it has three branches: ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular. The trigeminal is a nerve with motor and sensory function, being responsible for controlling the muscles of chewing and facial sensitivity.
Trigeminal neuralgia occurs when there is a compression of the nerve root, usually caused by an anatomical change of a blood vessel to its environment.
Trigeminal neuralgia causes acute pain crisis in areas innervated by one or more of its branches. This pain is usually electric shock type, lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes and usually affects only one side of the face. The attacks tend to be recurrent.
Certain movements or activities can trigger pain crises, including:
- Touch in the face.
- Brush teeth
- Cold wind in the face.
Migraine is one of the most common forms of headache.
Migraine is characterized by being a unilateral headache of a pulsatile nature and of gradual onset, which progressively gets worse until it reaches great intensity after a couple of hours. The crises can last from 4 to 72 hours.
The pain often gets worse with bright light and noise and may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Hypersensitivity of the scalp is also common, which can lead to aggravation of pain with a simple brushing of the hair. During the crisis, the patient tends to stay still, isolated and in a dark place, not being able to participate in any activity.
20% of patients present aura, which are the neuronal signals that precede the onset of pain. They are usually luminous points or light rays in the eyes and tingling in some region of the body, which occur before the onset of the headache and disappear spontaneously after the onset of pain.
Gout is a disease that occurs in patients with high levels of uric acid in the blood. The deposition of uric acid in the joints promotes an intense inflammatory reaction, causing arthritis. Gout is characterized by intense pain, redness, swelling and local heat. Gouty arthritis is one of the most painful forms of arthritis.
The joints most affected are those of the feet, especially the first toe and knees. The arthritis of gout is so painful that some people can not even cover their feet, because the contact of the blanket with the inflamed area causes a very strong pain.[irp posts=”4610″ name=”Ultimate Gout Guide – The Disease of Uric Acid Elevation and Accumulation”]
3. First Childbirth
Although it is not an illness, labor, especially in nulliparous women (women who have never had children), first childbirth experience is an event that can be so painful that deserves to be on this list.
The pain of labor changes from origin to the extent that the process advances. In the first phase, pain is caused by uterine contractions. In addition to the uterus, pain can be felt in the abdominal wall, lumbosacral, iliac crests, buttocks and thighs.
When the dilation of the cervix reaches 7 to 10 cm, the patient begins the transition to the second stage of labor, and the pain becomes predominant due to the distention of the vagina, the perineum, the floor and the pelvic ligaments. The pain of the second stage is more intense because it is a combination of the pain of uterine contractions and the distention of the vaginal and perineal tissue.
The pain of nulliparous labor tends to be the worst pain a woman has ever felt in life, especially if the work is not being accompanied by doctors and no analgesia is administered.
2. Cluster Headache
Cluster headache is a form of unilateral headache, which causes intense attacks of pain and is usually restricted to the region around one of the eyes.
The pain is so intense that the patient can get very agitated, rocking and walking from one side to the other. There are cases in which the individual begins to hit with his own head against the wall, so great is his discomfort.
The affected side of the head usually presents some signs, such as watery eyes, redness of the eyes, runny nose, drooping of the eyelid (ptosis) and sweating.
Cluster headache begins suddenly and without warning. The crisis lasts, on average, 15 to 60 minutes and can appear several times during the day.
1. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic disorder that affects a specific area of the body, usually arm, hand, leg or foot and is characterized by severe pain, swelling, limited movement and skin changes. This syndrome has an unknown cause and usually occurs after a fracture, burn, cuts or surgery.
Pain is usually the most prominent and debilitating symptom. It is often described as burning, itching or fraying, which is felt deep inside the limb and is disproportionate to the lesion that gave rise to it. The pain is usually continuous and may be exacerbated by limb movement, contact, temperature variation or stress. The disease can last from weeks to several years.
Other Causes of Severe Pain That Deserve Mention
Several other conditions that were not listed also cause severe pain and deserve, at least, to be cited. They are:
- Endometriosis .
- Analgic crisis of sickle cell anemia.
- Sciatic pain
- Bone fracture
- Adhesive capsulitis.
- Acute Pancreatitis .
- Postoperative pain
- Brain aneurysm.
- Myofascial pain syndrome.
- Testicular torsion.
- Ovarian torsion.