One could say that physical pain is part of our everyday life. We get it as a consequence of injury, illness, or intense exercise, in which case there’s absolutely no reason to worry about it. Many types of physical body pain can in fact be explained without having to see a doctor, but when there’s no apparent cause for your persistent headache or your nagging back pain, it is important to alert yourself and take action, as they could be signs of something more serious. Here are 7 types of pain you should never ignore.
1. Burning Pain or Numbness in the Legs or Fee
If you ever feel a burning pain or a numb/tingling sensation in the legs or feet, you could be suffering from neuropathy, or more specifically, diabetic neuropathy. Unfortunately, much like 23 million people in America, many individuals tend to ignore the symptoms of diabetes, leading to eventual serious consequences. The following are some other symptoms that would be present alongside this pain:
• dry mouth
• constant thirst and hunger
• itchy dry skin
• slow-to-heal wounds or cuts
• frequent and urgent urination
• blurred vision
2. Unexplained, Persistent Pain in the Chest, Throat, Jaw, Arm, or Belly
As you might be aware, pain in the chest area is often more of a worrying case than not. In fact, chest pain or discomfort are often linked to serious cardiac problems. However, these problems could also be indicated through pain in the throat, jaw, arm, or stomach, in which case, attention should be given so as not to mistaken them for other ailments. Acid reflux could also be experienced as a result of heart problems. So, if you observe any of these symptoms, make sure you do not overlook them.
3. An Excruciating Headache
Headaches are common pains we experience as a result of dehydration, sinus congestion, or stress, and could be avoided by drinking lots of water, using a neti pot, and making time for some meditation or restful sleep. However, if after trying out these possible solutions you see that your headache is still persisting in an unbearable manner, take it as a serious warning sign. Extreme cases are hard to ignore, but make sure you take urgent medical action, as causes for an extremely excruciating headache could signify brain bleeding.
4. Sudden or Nagging Back Pain
Back pain is one of the most common physical complaints, brought by a sedentary lifestyle, poor posture, or physical strain, and sometimes also, chronic conditions. It is a bothersome pain that could cause unwanted discomfort. But if the pain is sharp and sudden, it could be an indication of a deadly tear in the aorta (aortic dissection), the main blood vessel connected to the heart. This is a critical condition, which must be given medical attention straight away. Furthermore, if you experience back pain between the shoulders, it could be a consequence of high blood pressure, circulation problems, diabetes and smoking, so make sure you get it seen to immediately.
5. Extreme Abdominal Pain
Pain in the abdominal area may be linked to several health conditions, especially if it is sudden, sharp and intense. It may point to issues in the gallbladder (including gallstones), pancreatitis, stomach or intestinal ulcers, and inflammation or bursting of the appendix. Suffering from unusually extreme pain in the stomach or gut area calls for an immediate trip to the doctor. Investigating the problem early on would enable you to get necessary medical treatment as soon as possible.
6. Pain or Swelling in the Calves
Experiencing calf cramps may not necessarily be a serious symptom, but when it is accompanied by swelling in the area, or the pain persists, it could hint at the presence of a life-threatening condition. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) becomes a life threatening condition when a piece of the blood clot breaks off and travels downstream through the heart into the pulmonary circulation system, and becomes lodged in the lung. Diagnosis and treatment of DVT is therefore essential, in order to prevent pulmonary embolism (a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs). One of the warning signs of DVT is in fact through pain or swelling in the calves, as well as:
• warmth in the skin of the affected leg
• red or discolored skin in the affected leg
• visible surface veins
It’s also good to note that having flown recently may increase the risk of developing DVT. A doctor appointment must be made should the above symptoms be observed.
7. Odd, Vague, Unexplained Pain or Combined Pains
Unlike the types of pain we’ve seen so far, there are certain ones that may not be concentrated in a particular area of the body, but are more spread out and subtle. However, you should not let these aches go unnoticed, since they could signify a less obvious underlying health problem, such as depression. This mental condition frequently causes unexplained chronic pain, and is anticipated by psychological problems such as lack of interest, inability to think effectively and focus, and becoming less social. If you notice signs like these, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or a counselor, so they can help you deal with the problem.
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