Pain is obviously something that everyone has experienced at one time or another.
The thing about pain, though, is that everyone always thinks they’ve suffered the absolute worst kind of it, like it’s some kind of competition and a way on one-upping someone about who has had it the worst.
“Oh, I’ve had (insert illness here) and it’s the WORST pain ever” someone will say say, to which hypochondriac B will reply “well I had (pick an ailment) and that is notorious for being the most PAINFUL thing you can get” and so on and so forth.
We get it, it hurt.
Thankfully, the NHS has compiled a list of the 20 most painful conditions known to humans so we can finally put an end to this tiresome debate. I’m not exactly sure what the exact science behind measuring pain is, but essentially if you haven’t suffered from at least one of these you’ve never experienced proper pain and you need to man up.
Take a look through them and see how many you’ve had:
Shingles: Explosive diarrhoea caused by excessive eating of Pringles. Nah not really, it’s actually just a skin rash that can cause nerve damage.
Slipped disc: When discs of cartilage in the spine are damaged and press on the nerves causing you an immense amount of discomfort/pain.
Cluster headaches: Just a really annoying, really painful headache in one area of your nut that refuses to bloody budge.
Heart attack: If you aren’t sure what this is you’re beyond help anyway.
Cancer: (see above)
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS): There’s nothing worse than having CRPS. It’s basically a pain that lingers after an injury that can cause swelling and skin damage that is often worse than the original injury.
Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints that affects around 10 million people in the UK.
Migraine: I’ve got one coming on at the moment.
Gout: Swelling in the joints, usually your foot. Stay away from the wine and cheese if you want to avoid.
Broken bones: Pretty self-explanatory.
Kidney Stones: Imagine passing a sizeable rock out of your wee hole. Nothing that big should be passing through a tube that small – which is why it’s so damn painful.
Sciatica: The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body and any irritation of it can lead to a real pain in the arse (literally) and legs.
Frozen shoulder: Not to be mistaken for the cold shoulder, frozen shoulder is when your shoulder joint becomes inflamed and hurts like hell.
Appendicitis: When your appendix swells and causes abdominal pain – not that you need it anyway.
Pancreatitis: Like the thing above but in your pancreas. Obviously.
Stomach ulcer: You know how annoying/sore a mouth ulcer is? Well imagine that in your gut.
Trigeminal neuralgia: Although it sounds like a mathematical term, it’s actually a really intense pain in your face – which, ironically, maths can often cause too.
Endometriosis: The ones you struggle to pronounce are usually the worst. This is tissue growing outside the uterus instead of inside it. Ouchie.
Fibromyalgia: Just absolute excruciating pain all over your body – which is what happens to me when I watch Manchester United these days.
Pain after an operation: Well that really could be anything.
**In case you were wondering why pregnancy isn’t featured on the list it’s because it specifically refers to painful CONDITIONS, which pregnancy definitely isn’t.**
Now, those conditions outlined do sound all painful and stuff, and I hope I never have to experience any of them, but let’s not kid ourselves here: there are still WAY worse pains out there that many of us suffer from on a day to day basis.
I’ve taken the liberty of listing them below:
Standing on an upturned plug
Getting dumped by someone you love
Getting shampoo in your eyes
Taking a football to the nut-sack
Taking anything to the nut-sack
Pretending to like a gift when really you hate it
Stubbing your big toe
Going to ANY family gathering
Biting your tongue
Going to the dentist
Looking directly at the sun
Getting a splinter
Listening to someone constantly talk about themselves/a partner
Getting in a hot car with no air-con
Being at work
Burning the roof of your mouth with a red hot pizza
Dropping a slice of pizza on the floor
Sitting through an episode of The Big Bang Theory
Give me any from the NHS’s list over that last one a-n-y day.
Images via Getty/CBS