The 7 most common pain disorders

Pain disorders can express themselves in many different ways. The symptoms range from headaches to rheumatic pains to neuropathic pain and can lead to permanent health problems. Here we show you the most common chronic pain diseases and their development.


Headache is one of the most common pain syndromes. Over the course of a year, the majority of Germans experience one or more headache attacks. The consoling news: The incidence of headaches in men and women decreases with age. There are two groups of headaches:

  • The so-called primary idiopathic headache is understood as meaning pain that has no other cause (migraine, tension-type headache).
  • Secondary symptomatic are those headaches that can be attributed to a cause, such as a hangover after heavy drinking or the headache, which is caused by a cerebral hemorrhage.

back pain

Back pain is one of the leading health problems in Germany, as proven by several studies in recent years. 10 percent of Germans are chronically affected, 70 percent suffer at least once a year. Lack of exercise, spasticity in the spine, emotional conflicts or stressful work can cause back pain.


Affects one in four women aged 50 and over and one in six men, a total of 6 to 8 million Germans. The altered statics of the skeleton (reduced bone mass and altered bone structure) can cause pain.


An estimated 15 percent of the population are receiving medical treatment at least once a year for rheumatic ailments, and more and more young people. We distinguish soft-tissue rheumatism (fibromyalgia) with pain in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of rheumatoid arthritis, where the joints are either inflamed (chronic polyarthritis) or damaged by wear (osteoarthritis).


On average, 50 percent of all cancer patients have severe pain, and 90 percent end-stage. The pain is caused either by tumor growth / metastasis or by side-effect-rich therapies.


Neuropathic pain is caused by direct damage to nerve fibers and pathways. The most common neuropathic pain syndromes include diabetic polyneuropathy (nearly 10 percent of all diabetics suffer from it) and postzosteric neurlagie (20 percent of all patients have long term pain after shingles).

phantom pain

Affect up to 70 percent of all amputees. The phantom pain can occur after amputations, when the pain-processing nerve cells of the amputated limbs are sensitized by a long-lasting irritation. You then send signals for months after the procedure. The pain is attack-like in most cases and often accompanied by severe muscle spasms.

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