Did You Know?
While covering the Iraq war, NBC reporter David Bloom experienced pain behind his knee. He skipped his visit to the doctor and instead popped a few aspirin pills. Three days later, he was no more. The reason -- pulmonary embolism triggered by deep vein thrombosis. This is one of the pains that shouldn't be overlooked!
When our body needs a little attention, it tries to communicate with us not in any language but through various signals of pain. This happens because we are so busy with our daily tasks that we never realize how much pressure and stress we are putting on various parts of our body. This results in the wear and tear of the parts, which is expressed sometimes through mild or severe pain.
It is not always feasible or rather necessary to rush to the doctor for the mildest ache in any part of the body. You need to identify which type of pain may just be due to a pulled muscle, or a sprain that might go away within a few days and which one needs medical assistance. You may confuse certain pains as mild aches that occur due to some stress on the body, but in reality, there might be some underlying cause behind the pain. Thus, the following paragraphs offer you a list of body pains that should never be mistaken as mild aches and ignored.
Body Pains Not to Be Ignored
It is the most common type of pain that we all experience frequently. Some people find relief with over-the-counter painkillers, while some rely on the traditional home remedies. However, if the frequency of the headache is more than normal, you will have to take it seriously and uncover its root cause. The pain could be because of sinusitis or migraine, but only when it's accompanied with other symptoms associated with these problems. If there are no other symptoms visible, the pain -- on a serious level -- could be due to brain aneurysm, which needs immediate medical attention.
Pain in the Chest, Jaw, Throat, Arm, or Shoulder
We all are aware about the throbbing chest pain that precedes a heart attack. However, sometimes there are other indications, like sudden pain in the jaw, arm, throat, or shoulder that may warn you about a possible heart attack. If you experience any of these pains, call your health care professional right away and seek proper medical help. The other major reason for a sudden chest pain would be pulmonary embolism. It doesn't usually occur, but when it does, it may be a very serious condition to deal with. It is a condition in which one or more arteries in the lungs get blocked because of the blood clots formed in some other region of the body that travel towards lungs. The common indications of this condition are sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough that might bring up bloody sputum. Although being an extremely fatal condition, the risk of death can be lowered if the person is treated immediately with anti-clotting medications.
Our stomach is really a busy and happening place, and hence, a sudden acute pain in the abdomen may mean anything to actually nothing. It could point towards an intestinal blockage, which if not attended immediately, may result in death of the intestinal tissue. It could also mean a swollen liver due to hepatitis that may cause unbearable pain in the gut. Pain in the upper-right portion of the abdomen may indicate a problem associated with the gall bladder. Upper abdominal pain may also indicate an inflammation of the pancreas, known as pancreatitis. Other problems associated with organs, such as kidneys and lungs may also lead to excruciating pain in the abdominal region.
When a toothache does not get alright within a day or two, it could indicate a severe nerve damage. This nerve damage may further result into a totally damaged or cracked tooth that allows the bacteria to penetrate the nerve with infection and spread it to other parts of the body. Soreness in the cheekbones and jaw may be the initial sign of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which is a serious maxillofacial condition. In some cases, sinus infections may also cause pain in the upper molar teeth misleading you to believe that the pain is due to a dental problem. Hence, to avoid more complications, don't rely on painkillers, and visit the doctor if you have a toothache.
Lower Back Pain
It is another common type of pain found in almost 9 out of 10 people. The unique characteristic of pain in the lower back is that it can sometimes be a non-specific pain. A sudden onset of acute lower back pain is termed as non-specific pain. There is no particular reason or an underlying disease that causes this pain. To be more precise, in some cases, the pain may just be a sprain caused to a ligament or muscle while performing any rigorous activity. Some people are pretty confident that the pain is not so severe and begin self-treatment. They even get better quickly, but if you are in doubt about your back pain, just don't neglect it; contact your family doctor. This is because one of the serious reasons behind lower back pain could be sciatica -- a nerve root pain. When the nerve comes out of the spinal cord, the root of the nerve is irritated. The pain, which is excruciating, may be felt along the entire nerve, and hence, it goes down to the leg, sometimes till the calf, or may extend to the foot.
When the pain is felt in the lower back or between the shoulder blades, it could be arthritis. It is the inflammation of the joints; osteoarthritis is the common form of arthritis that usually occurs in elderly people.
Burning Sensation in Hands/Feet
It is quite normal when you feel a tingling sensation with slight pain in the hands or feet as result of a position in which blood circulation is decreased in that area. This tickling with little pain goes away when you stand or start moving, and the blood circulation resumes its normal pace. However, if you feel the tickling or burning sensation in your hands or feet even when in a normal position, it may indicate nerve damage. In scientific terms, the tingling, tickling, or burning sensation is termed as peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy could be the first sign of diabetes, or other disorders, such as shingles. Hence, watch out for the difference between the usual and unusual burning sensation, and contact the doctor if the need arises.
Sharp Pain Felt on the Side
This is one of the major body pains that should never be left unattended, expecting that it will go away on its own. The reason being there are various severe health problems associated with this kind of pain. The first possibility of constant pain on either the left or right side may be kidney stones. If you feel a pricking pain on the right side, then know that the stone is formed in the right kidney. The pain is very typical; in the sense that it begins in the lower back and moves around to the front. The pain also depends on the size of the stone, and if it's a very tiny one, the person may not experience any pain.
The next important health condition -- an intense pain, especially on the right side may indicate appendicitis. In some cases, the pain may be experienced in the lower quadrant of the abdomen, while in others, the pain may begin from the navel area and pass down to the stomach.
If one of your calves gives you a throbbing pain, you might be suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), also known as a blood clot. Although being a rare health problem, DVT could be a serious condition if not attended to at the right time. Extended hours spent in a sitting position is the leading cause of this condition. When a person continues to be in a sitting position for several hours, the blood starts collecting in the lower body and forms a clot. When the clot grows bigger, it blocks the veins and arteries, the result of which is pain and swelling in the area. Avoid massaging, or any other means to do away with the clot because if the clot leaves its position, it may travel up to the lungs through the veins and cut off the oxygen supply. This condition, as mentioned earlier, is termed as pulmonary embolism. Call your doctor immediately and seek professional medical assistance to deal with the condition.
It's true that sometimes certain body aches are really casual and can be ignored, but if you are experiencing them repeatedly with a growing intensity, understand that it's the time to get the appropriate treatment right away.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a medical professional.