Here Are The 16 Most Painful Injuries Someone Can Experience
Photo: Tony Knox / Flickr Commons

Here Are The 16 Most Painful Injuries Someone Can Experience

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.

  • Tibial Compound Fracture

    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.

  • Penile Fracture

    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.

  • Broken Ribs

    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 Dislocation

    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. 

  • Testicular Torsion

    Testicular torsion even sounds painful. This happens when a testicle rotates and twists the spermatic cord, which takes blood to the scrotum. The decrease in flow ends up resulting in severe pain and swelling. And if it goes untreated, it can cause the irreversible deterioration of the testicle.

    Immediate surgery is often required to untwist the cord, which in and of itself is painful.

  • Burns

    Defined as any damage to your tissues caused by heat, burns can also result from chemicals, radiation, electricity, and sunlight. Anyone who's had to take a first aid class is at least a little familiar with the three types of burns.

    Third-degree burns are the worst of the bunch, damaging the deepest layers of skin and even internal tissue. Second-degree burns damage both the outer and inner layer of skin. First-degree burns occur when you do something like step outside while living in Arizona; sometimes, you just can't avoid them.

    Bad burns cause blistering and swelling and, in serious cases, shock. Antibiotic creams are usually used to prevent infection.