Nobody likes to get hurt, but plenty of people have spent time contemplating the most painful types of damage our bodies can incur. Like the urge to poke at a bruise, pain can be an enthralling subject. What really are the most painful afflictions you can experience - the most searing, white-hot traumas your body can suffer?
There's no part of the body that's safe. From shoulder dislocations to broken tailbones to compound fractures, these physical impairments don't discriminate. If you're engaged in extreme sports or just strolling down the street, they can still come out of nowhere and cause something you'd never want to Google.
Often described as one of the most common bones to break, the tibia (AKA the shinbone) is one of the most vulnerable spots on your body. It takes a significant amount of force to bust this bone, which is why people come in with this often as a result of traffic collisions.
Any bone damage is going to hurt, but a tibial compound fracture amplifies that pain in some gruesome ways. Due to the amount of force it takes to break the tibia, it's common for the fractured bone to tear through muscle and break the skin.
In the most extreme cases, the tibia may fracture in multiple places, which comes with an even longer, more difficult recovery.
While there isn't an actual bone that can be broken, it is possible to suffer a penile fracture - and it is profoundly painful. The "fracture" is the breakage or rupture of the tunica albuginea, the tough connective tissue that surrounds the penile shaft. This stems from blunt force to an erect member, which can happen during intercourse or aggressive self-servicing.
The pain can be terrible, and any delay in treatment can result in deformities, erectile dysfunction, and damage to the urethra and blood vessels.
As such a common result of car-based or sports mishaps, broken ribs might not seem too severe. In actuality, they can be truly dangerous and painful. A cracked rib doesn't feel good, but a truly broken or shattered rib can be a nightmare. Broken ribs move with every breath, so the very act of breathing agitates the hurt area. On top of that, the motion can push the sharp bone fragments into surrounding lung and muscle tissue. So, you have to deal with busted bones and tissue damage that gets worse every time you gasp for air.
Those with this affliction don't like to hear this, but physicians often have no other option but to wait these breaks out. There's no way to set a rib like you can an arm or leg, so if you've got a broken one, your best option is to just let it heal on its own over a few months.
Elbow dislocations are one of the more visually disturbing types of physical damage; your arm just isn't supposed to look that way. This usually occurs when the forearm bones - the radius and ulna - are jerked out of place from the humerus, often by a hyperextension. These dislocations commonly damage ligaments, blood vessels, and even nerves that control movement and feeling in the hand.
There's a specific case of dislocation called "Nursemaid elbow" which is often diagnosed in young children whose arms have been yanked too hard.