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22 'Types' of Chronic Pain I Experience


When you live with chronic pain, it can sometimes feel like you are the only person in the world who feels this way. However, once you speak to other people you often hear, “Oh my God, that’s exactly what happens to me.”

Below are a few pain types I have identified over the years. Maybe you will recognize some of them:

1. Poker Pain: The pain where someone stuffed a red hot piece of metal between where your bones meet.

2. The Bear Trap: Pain so mind-bendingly unignorable, you want to chew your own limbs off.

3. I’ve Got a Cavity: It’s like toothache… for your entire arm/leg.

4. Pain That Freezes You: “Please don’t make me move. Please don’t make me move.”

5. 10-Ton Pain: The pain that makes your arm feel 10 times heavier than usual.

6. The Tourist: Pain that enjoys traveling around your body.

7. Ice Pick Pain: Pain you get so good at handling you can continue conversations. “So I said to the man in the shop….. Aaahhhhooooohhhhhoooowwwww….. what color does it come in?

8. The Radiator: It hurts so much my entire hand feels hot and I need to douse it in freezing cold water.

9. The Editor: Who crumpled up all my muscles and ligaments into a paper ball?

10. Fuzzy Pain: Not as cute as it sounds, more like having an angle grinder digging into you.

11. Yoga Class: Pain that earns you odd looks due to the obscure calisthenics you have to do to try and appease it.

12. The Heart Beat: That pain that appears to have its own pulse rate.

13. The Shower Knob: There is only one spot in your range of motion that doesn’t hurt… and it’s only one mm long.

14. WD-40 Pain: That pain that feels like you just need to crack the joint to unstick it, despite already having tried doing it 20 times… and now your ligaments ache from trying.

15. Primark/Target Pain: No, not having to shop there. More like being out clothes shopping and touching a lift door or escalator handle… only inside your skull.

16. Mediocre Superhero: When the pain is sending out electric pulses through your body, but it’s only you who’s hurting.

17. Iron Fist: When you are in metal work shop at school, only it’s your skull in the vise.

18. Thor’s Hammer: Like a gremlin in your skull playing with a bag of hammers.

19. The Athlete: When you know you have to move but it’s gonna hurt and you need a mental run-up first.

20. Zombie Pain: Where you can’t feel a thing but somehow it hurts like hell.

21. Dora The Explorer: When someone has wedged a machete between your bum cheeks.

22. pH Balance: When someone strokes your skin gently and they seem to have acid on their fingers.

Maybe you will recognize a few — or even all of these pains. There are probably many more people could add. But whichever ones you feel or have felt, know that you are not alone and there is a whole network of chronic pain warriors who support you.

Getty image via Tom Merton