This Is the Absolute Most Painful Thing the Human Body Can Experience

The human body is remarkable. It has a way of healing even the worst of injuries, bringing other life into the world, and makes us capable of feeling all kinds of emotions, thoughts, and more. But it’s no secret that there are some incredible painful diseases and conditions that can cause our bodies extreme pain. Most people think childbirth is the most painful experience, but actually, some doctors say otherwise. Read on to find out the top seven most painful things the human body can experience.

Cluster headaches

upset woman

Doctors still don’t know why these occur. | iStock.com/ Tom Merton

Cluster headaches are quick bursts of severe pain, usually on one side of the head. They can happen frequently for up to weeks at a time and can be seasonal. They’re typically more painful than a migraine, although doctors are not completely sure why they happen. The pain tends to focus in the eye area. Doctors believe that the headaches come from the activation of a nerve that comes from the hypothalamus, but they still aren’t well understood.

Next: This condition is caused by a painful bacterial infection. 

Peritonitis

Woman lying on couch with hand on stomach suffering from a stomachache

This infection can spread if it gets severe. | iStock.com/champja

Peritonitis, or inflammation of the peritoneum, is an inflammation of the tissue that lines the abdominal wall and abdominal organs. It is usually caused by a fungal or bacterial infection and can be life-threatening if not immediately treated. In severe cases, the infection can spread to the digestive tract. Symptoms include severe abdominal pain that hurts with any movement, along with vomiting and constipation. Stomach ulcers, a ruptured appendix, or pancreatitis can all lead to peritonitis.

Next: If you don’t get vaccinated, you could get this extremely painful disease. 

Tetanus

Man with pain in his neck

You probably had no idea how severe this pain is. | iStock.com/andriano_cz

Tetanus is an illness caused by clostridium bacteria. It causes extremely painful tightening of the muscles throughout the body. It typically starts in the jaw and can cause the jaw to lock, making it impossible to open your mouth or swallow. Tetanus can be life threatening if immediate treatment is not sought. But most people get vaccinated for tetanus as a child. The vaccine lasts 10 years.

Next: This chronic, painful syndrome can happen after surgery. 

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)

woman with leg pain sitting in the grass

Severe burning or throbbing could be a sign of this condition. | iStock.com/kwanchaichaiudom

This syndrome is a form of chronic pain that you can experience after a medical episode such as a surgery, injury, heart attack, or stroke. The pain associated with CRPS is usually far out of proportion to the pain experienced immediately after an injury or before surgery. Symptoms include severe burning or throbbing pain, sensitivity to touch, joint stiffness, and muscle spasms. Symptoms can sometimes persist for months or years.

Next: Most people think this is the most painful experience ever. 

Childbirth

Newborn baby holding a hand

Even with medication, childbirth is extremely painful. | mmpile/iStock/Getty Images

Childbirth is often dubbed one of the most painful experiences ever. However, it’s difficult to measure because men cannot experience it. Although labor has always been an incredibly painful process, today’s medications have reduced the pain a lot compared to years ago. Medications are optional during childbirth. But even with medications, the contractions before labor starts can also be incredibly painful. Plus, every woman has a different experience.

Next: Depending on the severity, this can be truly painful. 

Severe burns

Back with second degree burn

Severe burns are incredibly painful. | iStock.com/ Lux_D 

Second- and third-degree burns can be extremely painful — and long lasting. The skin has two layers, the epidermis and the dermis. First-degree burns only affect the epidermis, but second- and third- degree burns burn through the epidermis and reach the dermis, causing serious pain. Also, the tissue beneath the dermis is often badly burned with third-degree burns. Treatment for third-degree burns may require skin grafting (moving skin from one area of the body to another) or the use of synthetic skin.

Next: This sharp, electric-shock-like pain is incredibly excruciating. 

Trigeminal neuralgia

woman with a severe headache

This chronic pain is no joke. | kosmos111/iStock/Getty Images

Trigeminal neuralgia is a type of chronic pain that is rare but extremely debilitating. It occurs when a malfunction in the trigeminal nerve in your face causes a shot of excruciating pain from time to time. Even brushing your teeth or washing your face can lead to serious, severe pain. At first, the attacks are short and mild, but as you get older, they get worse and eventually become much longer bouts of crippling pain. The pain feels like an electric shock through your face, but medications and sometimes surgery can usually help with the pain.

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