25 Worst Pains Humans Can Experience

Have you ever wondered what are the worst pains a human can experience? We hate to say it, but there are quite a few. Pain is the sensory response your body sends to your brain to let it know when and where something has gone wrong.

Usually, this is helpful because it warns you about something that might harm you, such as touching a hot surface or stepping on something sharp. In some cases, however, the pain itself can become so unbearable that it becomes the problem itself.

When that happens, there is often not much a person can do but suffer through it. Here are the 25 worst pains humans can experience. Hopefully, you’ll avoid having to go through them yourself.

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GoutSource: mayoclinic.org

Basically an acute and intense onset of arthritis, gout is not to be messed with. Once known as the “rich man’s disease” because a wealthy diet was one of the causes, gout is now known to be a result of too much uric acid in the blood.

That can form microscopic crystals that collect in the body’s extremities. Symptoms include severe pain, as well as swollen, red, and tender joints, most often concentrated in the hands and feet.


Tooth Abscess

tooth abscessSource: webmd.com

Although abscesses can occur anywhere in the body, tooth abscesses are typically the most painful due to their proximity to such a huge amount of nerves.

The infection starts with tooth decay and gets worse and more painful as bacteria multiply and decays the tooth further, it can even spread to the rest of the face, cause terrible fevers, and, in some cases, death.


Torn Achilles

achilles tendonSource: webmd.com

It is the strongest and largest tendon in the body, so when it breaks…it hurts. People even say it feels like being shot in the back of the foot.


Road Rash

22roadrashSource: webmd.com

Similar to burning, road rash often takes off the top layer of skin and exposes the nerves to the elements, which is never fun and always painful.


Stonefish Sting

21stonefishstingSource: mnn.com

These fish, commonly found in the coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific are one of the most venomous fish known to man. Blending in almost perfectly with stones and coral below the surface of the water, they’re quite easy to miss.

This results in unaware humans accidentally stepping on them and receiving a nasty sting that will cause excruciating pain, nausea, convulsions, vomiting, and, unless treated very quickly, death.


Bear Attacks

20bearattacksSource: slate.com

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that bears are not animals to be trifled with. One of the largest species, the polar bear, weighing up to nearly a thousand pounds.

These incredible animals could easily maul a human in only a matter of seconds. That said, only about 3 humans in the U.S. and Canada die from bear attacks each year, compared to the roughly 40 to 50 lightning strike-related fatalities per year in the U.S. alone.


Broken Femur

19brokenfemurSource: www.moveforwardpt.com

The femur, or thigh bone, is the largest bone in the human body and, as such, breaking one is no laughing matter. Typically sustained in high impact trauma such as car accidents due to the amount of force necessary to break the bone, a femoral fracture is definitively the most painful fracture a person can experience.

Even the healing process is arduous, often taking four to five months and leaving lasting repercussions that can affect somebody for years after the break.


Drawn and Quartered

18drawnandquarteredSource: history.com

Before the days of lethal injection, methods of execution were much crueler and inhumane. One such method from medieval Europe involved prisoners dragged through the street behind a horse.

Then, they have hanged almost till near death, disemboweled, beheaded, and then brutally cut into four pieces.


Insect Sting

17insectsingsSource: esquire.com

We’re not talking about your run of the mill honeybee sting, we’re talking about something much more sinister than that.

Some insects, such as the bullet ant of Central and South America, contain a venom that can put a human in excruciating pain for days with only a single sting.


Trigeminal Neuralgia

Migraine Knowledge Electrical Headache BrainSource: mayoclinic.org, emedicine.medscape.com

The Trigeminal nerve is responsible for supplying sensations to the face and head, so when it becomes disrupted the results are definitely not good.

Described by sufferers as “being stuck in the head by lightning,” Trigeminal Neuralgia attacks can be triggered by simple actions such as brushing teeth or putting on makeup.



LingchiSource: mentalfloss.com

Also known as “death by a thousand cuts,” this form of execution was used in China and Vietnam up until the 1900s.

Basically, the victim’s body was slowly cut into pieces, with the intention to keep them alive for as long as possible to increase the pain.



14tetanusSource: webmd.com

Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that is often contracted via cuts or punctures from rusted metal, where the bacteria is common. The infection is also known as “lockjaw” due to its tendency to cause severe muscle contractions in the face and neck.

These problems can restrict airways and even lead to death. Luckily, a vaccine is widely available, so a majority of tetanus cases nowadays are due to poor access to vaccines or medical treatment.



child birthSource: parents.com

Described by some as feeling like your organs are being ripped out, there is no doubt that whatever magic allows us to bring new life into the world comes at a great cost to the mothers doing the delivering.

It’s also worth noting that, statistically, nearly half of the human population is likely to go through it at some point in their lives, making it one of the most common items in this list.



Sky Sunset Crucifixion Sun Cross Sunrise HillSource: gizmodo.com

An extremely painful method of execution, crucifixions were used as early as 479 BCE. However, it wasn’t till later when it was perfected by the Romans that it saw widespread use.

Specifically engineered to keep the victim alive and in pain for as long as possible, it’s no stretch of the imagination to see how this form of torture gave us the word “excruciating.”



11peritonitisSource: webmd.com

The peritoneum is a thin lining that covers much of the inside of your abdomen, and when it gets inflamed…get ready for pain.

Usually caused by leakage of the intestines, Peritonitis causes extreme pain and, if left untreated, is almost always fatal.


Irukandji Syndrome

jellyfishSource: bioweb.uwlax.edu

This is a condition induced by the sting of the Irukandji jellyfish, found off the coast of Australia. Besides being incredibly painful, an unusual effect of the jellyfish’s venom is an intense feeling of impending doom.

It’s so profound, in fact, that some patients even beg their doctor to just kill them and get it over with. The symptoms can often take several weeks to recede, even with proper medical attention.


Gonadal Torsion

gonadal torsionSource: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Occurring in either the testes or the ovaries, torsion typically involves twisting of the gonads (reproductive organs).

When that happens, the blood supply can be restricted. It’s just as painful as it sounds and often requires surgery to repair.


Kidney Stones

Kidney stonesSource: webmd.com

Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals that can become lodged inside of the kidneys. This painful condition often results in fever symptoms, vomiting, and bloody urine.

The only to remove them short of a surgery is to pass them through your urinary tract, which sounds bad before realizing that stones can range anywhere from a few millimeters to several inches in size.


Second Degree Burns

7seconddegreeburnsSource: webmd.com

Despite being ultimately less harmful than third or fourth-degree burns, second-degree burns are often the most painful type of burn.

This is because third and fourth degree burns often damage nerve endings, cutting off the brain’s ability to sense feeling in the burned area. Second degree burns, on the other hand, only burn away only the top layer of skin, making for a truly excruciating experience.


Dercum’s Disease

6dercumsdiseaseSource: webmd.com

Dercum’s disease makes even the simplest of daily tasks, such as putting on clothing or taking a shower, excruciatingly painful.

This is due to the numerous lipomas (painful growths of fatty tissue) that spread across the patient’s body, making it extremely sensitive to touch and temperature. Although an exact cause is unknown, Dercum’s Disease is thought to be a genetic autoimmune disorder, which causes the body to improperly break down fats.


Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

Complex regional pain syndromeSource: scientificamerican.com

This is a nasty disease that causes your body’s pain receptors to go haywire. It results in intense swelling and pain, often on the arms, hands, or feet.

The pain tends to get worse over time and, though a cure has yet to be found, scientists have discovered a link between the onset of the disease and heavy smoking; in case you needed another reason to quit.


Cluster Headaches

Cluster headachesSource: webmd.com

Unlike migraines or tension headaches, cluster headaches occur almost directly behind the eyeball. They typically affect a person for a period of several weeks at a time, often coming at night.

With the chronic nature of the attacks and the unbearable pain they cause, many people also refer to them as “suicide headaches,” due to sufferers often wishing they could end their lives just to escape from the excruciating pain.


Penile Fracture

Penis Testicles Testicular CancerSource: webmd.com

Every guy knows what this is, and it hurts just as much as you think it does. That’s about all we have to say about that. Every man will agree, the penile fracture is one of the most painful experiences!


Postdural Puncture Headache

Post-dural-puncture headacheSource: webmd.com

Also known as a spinal headache, this is one of the worst head pains a human can experience. These headaches affecting your meninges, which are the membranes that encapsulate your brain and spinal cord.

They are some of the most sensitive parts of your anatomy, and they are a common side effect of spinal anesthesia. Common symptoms are hearing loss, vertigo, nausea, dizziness, and extreme pain that is described as akin to being seared by hot metal.


Emotional Pain

emotional painSource: mayoclinic.org

From depression to PTSD, repeated studies have found that emotional trauma triggers the same parts of the brain as physical pain.

Interestingly, in some cases, it can be just as excruciating as any severe injury. As surprising as it might seem, psychological distress is one of the worst things a human being can experience.

SEE ALSO: 25 Harry Potter Facts That Will Knock You Off Your Broomstick »

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