What Are The Worst Chronic Pain Disorders?

The Worst Chronic Pain Disorders

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 Chronic pain is an unfortunately frequent disorder that many people in the United States and across the world experience.  The experience of chronic pain can range in severity from something that is mildly annoying to something that is severely debilitated. Let’s take a look at some of the most painful disorders. These are not ranked in any order.

The Most Painful Medical Conditions

Broken bones

When a bone is broken or cracked it is known as a fracture. Typical examples include a broken nose, broken arm, a broken hip as well as a broken toe. In some cases, when the break is small, you may not feel any pain at all, but for the most part bone breaks are extremely painful. Sometimes they will heal themselves, but it usually requires medical intervention for a physician to align the bone in position so that it recovers properly.

Heart attack

When you suffer a heart attack, you typically experience pain located at the center of your chest. People who have had a heart attack describe the feeling as resembling heaviness, squeezing or tightness that is so extreme that you feel like collapsing. In some cases, people that are experiencing severe indigestion will often make the mistake of thinking that they are suffering a heart attack. If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack, call for help right away.


When people experience cancer pain it is typically resulting from their tumors or the toxic side effects of cancer treatments like radiation or chemotherapy. Sometimes people think that the more severe their cancer pain, the larger their tumor is growing. This is not always the case as a very small tumor can cause disproportionate pain by impinging on a nerve, which can result in terrible body pain. The experience of cancer-related pain will vary between individuals by its duration, intensity, and particular sensation. Cancer pain can usually be controlled and managed by opioid painkillers.


Migraines are much more powerfully painful headaches than your normal, run-of-the-mill headache. They frequently last a lot longer, with some truly terrible migraines lasting for more than three days, sometimes. Migraines can cause extreme sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting and severe pain that feels throbbing. Many migraine sufferers find relief by resting in a quiet and dark place and allowing the migraine to pass.


Sciatica occurs when a nerve is impinged and generates a throbbing and severe pain that runs down one or both legs. It can also generate numbness in the legs, in the feet and make it extremely painful to walk. In most cases sciatica may result from something that has gone wrong in your back, but the pain itself often isn’t experienced there. Many individuals report that sciatica will dissipate after a few days. In most cases rest, anti-inflammatory medicines, and some simple stretching exercises can help expedite the recovery process. In truly severe cases, however, surgical interventions may be required.


Appendicitis describes when the appendix painfully swells. This is often a childhood malady. Children will complain of pain that is located in the middle of their stomach that shifts to a new location- the lower right side of the stomach where it becomes much more painful. Appendicitis is considered a medical emergency- and people suffering from it need to have the appendix removed before it bursts. In terms of recovery, most children that have their appendix removed require several days rest and usually don’t experience any negative side effects long-term.


Pancreatitis describes inflammation that occurs in the pancreas, which is an organ roughly in the size of a banana that is an important component of the digestive system. Pancreatitis can occur as an acute event, merely a one-off instance that you recover from. Or it can be a chronic pain disorder. Generally, however, acute pancreatitis is much more painful and usually requires a stay in the hospital to help manage the pain.


Endometriosis is a gynecological condition in which tissue normally found in the womb’s lining is discovered elsewhere in the body. The causes of endometriosis are not fully understood. Endometriosis is a chronic pain condition whose symptoms can significantly vary from individual to individual. Common symptoms include heavy and painful periods, lower abdominal pain, pain during and after sex, and bleeding between periods. There are no known cures for endometriosis, however, treatments are available that can reduce the pain.


Fibromyalgia is a mysterious chronic pain disorder without a known cause that can create widespread and migrating pain across the body. It usually results in tender areas on the shoulders, hips, the nape of your neck, elbows, and knees. Fibromyalgia is considered a lifelong condition and treatment usually focuses on exercise and painkillers which can help to reduce and manage an individual’s discomfort.

Post-operative pain

It is typical after you’ve had surgery to experience some pain, but if pain rises to an intensity that is untenable, it is necessary to speak with your physician about it. Typically physicians will give you another once over to make sure that you are recovering properly and then they may adjust your painkillers to address the additional pain you are experiencing.

Stomach ulcers

Stomach ulcers describe a condition where a hole or sore forms in your stomach lining. It will frequently cause a burning sensation in your abdomen typically between meals and often times occurring early in the morning. Antacids are often prescribed for ulcers as well as a range of natural treatments like honey or [easyazon_link keywords=”probiotics” locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]probiotics[/easyazon_link]. If ulcers are not treated effectively they have the potential of burning through your stomach wall and causing acidic digestive juices to flood the abdominal cavity.

Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is an especially pernicious chronic pain disorder that sufferers describe as feelings of electric shock, stabbing or burning on their face. They suffer such extreme facial sensitivity that even a light wind could trigger agonizing pain. It is typically characterized as facial pain occurring on one side of the face that appears and disappears sporadically. Oddly enough, opioid painkillers do not have an effect on trigeminal neuralgia, but anticonvulsant drugs can help to minimize the effects of trigeminal neuralgia.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones- when they pass through urination create sharp, sudden and cramping pains in your lower back or on your abdominal sides. The pain can occur during the middle of the night, which makes it especially stressful, and may cause its sufferers to go to the emergency room for treatment. The pain will disappear after the kidney stone has been passed out of your urine.

Slipped discs

One of the most common causes of back pain is something called a slipped disc which often occurs from an acute injury like improperly lifting a heavy object. One of the discs in your spine will have ruptured causing the gel to leak out. This can cause severe pain as a slipped disc can sometimes impinge on a nerve in your back. Sometimes the pain will go away over time, while other times it will require surgical intervention to treat.

Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder is a painful condition that can last for a number of years. When frozen shoulder occurs it causes your joint to become so stiff and tight it becomes literally impossible for you to carry out normal day-to-day activities that require you to raise your arm. Medical researchers are still unsure of what exactly causes frozen shoulder, but they have noticed that it more frequently occurs with people who have diabetes. Also, it is usually the non-dominant shoulder that is affected. [easyazon_link keywords=”Anti-inflammatory medications” locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]Anti-inflammatory medications[/easyazon_link] and opioid painkillers can help, as well as being treated by a physical therapist that can provide you some shoulder exercises.


Shingles is a particularly agonizing chronic pain disorder. It is typified by a rash or bunch of blisters typically located near and around your waist line. Shingles will cause pain that is frequently described as tingling or burning, typically affecting one side of an individual’s body. This pain is extra sensitive to touch- so much so that a light breeze could actually trigger terrible pain in shingles’ suffers.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are also known as suicide headaches because the pain they cause is so severe that people have killed themselves just to get some relief. They have a rapid onset and can be as brief as 15 minutes or last for as long as three hours or more. It will cause a stabbing pain in the area of one eye. Medical professionals have suggested that cluster headaches are the most painful disorder known to humankind.

Suggested Chronic Pain Reading Materials:

  1. [easyazon_link identifier=”0553379887″ locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]Pain Free: A Revolutionary Method for Stopping Chronic Pain[/easyazon_link]
  2. [easyazon_link identifier=”125005267X” locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]You Are Not Your Pain: Using Mindfulness to Relieve Pain, Reduce Stress, and Restore Well-Being—An Eight-Week Program[/easyazon_link]
  3. [easyazon_link identifier=”B014DYFF4E” locale=”US” tag=”chronic0e-20″]The Painful Truth: What Chronic Pain Is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us[/easyazon_link]

Final Thoughts

If you suffer from any of the above conditions, or are concerned about developing them, the best thing you can do is to read as much information as possible to be informed. Consider lifestyle and dietary changes, because these are great ways of both treating, managing and preventing these chronic pain conditions from ruining your life.