7. Peripheral Neuropathy
Commonly caused by diabetes, damage to the tips of the nerves going to the fingers, hands, and toes trigger this pain. “I’ve been told that it feels like walking on razor blades,” says Charles Kim, MD, assistant professor of rehabilitation and anesthesiology at NYU Lagone Medical Center. Anti-seizure medications calm down irritated nerves, but Kim says exercise is also important to improve blood flow.
6. Cancer Pain
PHOTO BY SELINA BOERTLEIN C/O SBPHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES
Whether it’s from the disease itself, treatments like chemo, or a combo of the two, some cancer patients—especially those with advanced disease—suffer immense pain. Among the most agonizing cancers: pancreatic, brain tumors, and sarcomas. Doctors prescribe medications based on the type of pain; for instance, steroids may help pain caused by swelling.