Endometriosis is 1 of Top 20 Most Painful Health Conditions

Finally, it appears us Endometriosis sufferers have some recognition, and even thought it might only be a small one, it is some nonetheless!


The NHS has released an article entitled “20 Painful Health Conditions” and it’s tagline is “Here are 20 health conditions known to cause pain so disabling that they can prevent you performing daily tasks.”


Now this article has been around for a while, it’s not exactly new, but it has somehow resurfaced and appeared on a couple of online newspaper articles.  I also found that it had been shared among some Facebook support groups I follow, and even posted it on my own Instagram page where it recieved a huge number of likes and comments relating to how satisfying it is to see our condition being recognised.

This recognition and awareness – no matter how small or large – sends waves of cheer and thanks through our communities because it is putting the spotlight on a disease that is invisible to the naked eye, as well as being one that encompasses “taboo subjects” such as periods.

The sharing ability on social media platforms means that this awareness and recognition spreads and spreads, and could potentially enable someone to seek help for their symptoms.

The list is in no particular order and there is a huge variety of health conditions on it – some of which you hear about everyday, some of which you don’t and some of which you may not have thought of as having pain associated with them.

The link to the full article will be below, but if you want a quicker read then I’ve shortened it for you here (again, please remember this is is no particular order);

  1. Shingles – a painful skin rash that causes burning, tingling or stabbing sensations even when someone just lightly brushes against the affected area.  It can lead to persistent pain.
  2. Cluster headaches – excruciating attacks of pain on one side of the head or face, they are frequent and become severe quickly.  They are also known as suicide headaches, and make a person restless, agitated and even bang their head on the wall in a bid to stop the pain
  3. Frozen shoulder – a painful condition where the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint becomes so inflamed and stiff it severely restricts movement and function
  4. Broken bones – fractures and breaks causes a lot of pain, and can be worse dependent on the location and type of break.  They take a long time to heal, potentially leading to prolonged pain
  5. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – a severe chronic health condition that is not well understood.  It often results are injury, typically to the hand, and causes severe pain and sensitivity, and can even cause loss of limb hair, sweating and changes in skin colour
  6. Heart attack – severe chest pain that often makes people collapse.  This is obviously an emergency – if you suspect a heart attack, call 999 immediately
  7. Slipped disc – as a physio, I must tell you that this is a completely incorrect term.  The discs in your spine do not slip.  Neither do they burst or come out of place.  They bulge.  Regardless of the name, having a disc constantly press on your nerve root is agony and often made worse by simple tasks.  Physio is very beneficial!
  8. Sickle cell disease – an inherited blood condition where one of the most distressing symptoms is a “pain crisis” – a sudden, acute pain that occurs in bones and joints.  It can happen once in a while or much more frequently
  9. Arthritis – probably the most heard condition on the list, arthritis can be life-limiting due to the pain an individual experiences.  Working within elective orthopaedics, I’ve heard and seen first hand how this disease can destroy lives with it’s severe pain
  10. Migraine – much more than a headache, a migraine is a severe pain where symptoms can include visual disturbances, temporary weakness on one side of the body and vomiting
  11. Sciatica – this is the name of a lower back condition, where the sciatic  nerve is either being trapped or compressed (from a disc bulge, for example).  It causes pain, cramping and pins and needles down the affected leg, sometimes with weakness
  12. Kidney stones – these lil things are absolute agony to pass, and the pain associated with them has it’s own name – “renal colic”.  Pain often starts at night time and may come and go, but is severe
  13. Appendicitis – inflammation and swelling of the appendix that causes worsening pain and is a medical emergency
  14. Trigeminal neuralgia – a pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which supplies the sensation of the face.  It can cause stabbing, burning and shooting pains
  15. Acute pancreatitis – this causes swelling of the pancreas and present as sudden onset terrible pain, made worse sometimes with eating and drinking
  16. Gout – this is another painful joint condition where there is an inflammatory reaction.  It is a type of inflammatory arthritis and typically occurs in the big toe
  17. Endometriosis – we know all about this one ladies!  The NHS articles description of it is very simple, but we know this is a very painful gynaecological condition where cells from the endometrium start to grow, implant and react to hormones in other parts of the body.  It stereo-typically presents as painful and heavy periods and painful sex
  18. Stomach ulcer – a sore in the stomach lining, this causes pain and burning and sometimes disabling pain
  19. Fibromyalgia – this condition presents in widespread pain, sensitivity and fatigue, as well as a multitude of other symptoms.  Pain is severe and can be allover the body
  20. Pain after surgery – whilst pain after surgery is normal (I say this an awful lot to my patients!), but if you experience very high levels it is a sign that something is not right, and if not managed it can develop into future problems

NHS: 20 Painful Health Conditions

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