Whether it is stress, tiredness, inflammation or imbalanced diet, pain normally results from the state your body is in. And while most people resort to painkillers when a headache or stomach ache strikes, this isn’t always the wisest thing to do. It is true that not all types of pain ask for medical attention, but some, even if mild, really DO. And, knowing the difference between the two is vital.
WHICH TYPES OF PAIN ARE SERIOUS?
1# Deep Back Pain
When you can’t associate your back pain to overworked muscles, poor posture or fatigue, it could be a sign of atherosclerosis. According to doctors, this increased pressure on your back accompanied with a penetrating pain with a burning sensation is triggered by thoracic aortic aneurysm, which is caused by atherosclerosis. This cardiovascular condition gradually hardens your arterial walls resulting in chest and back pain. You can also experience deep back pain if you suffer from kidney stones. However, in the case of atherosclerosis, the pain appears on one side of your back and is much more serious.
2# Severe Abdominal Pain
Stomach ache is one of the most common types, but knowing when this pain is serious is what matters the most. If your stomachache is accompanied by high temperature, it indicates an infection. If the pain appears on the right side of your stomach and it’s throbbing, it is most likely appendicitis. If the pain is located under your breast bone, you could be having pancreatitis or an inflammation of the gallbladder. Stomach ulcers and intestinal blockages are also risk factors for abdominal pain that require medical attention.
3# Abdominal discomfort with gas or bloating
According to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation, the early symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and difficulty eating. If you haven’t changed your dietary habits or increased your food intake and these symptoms persist for more than two or three weeks, see your gynecologist immediately to discuss the symptoms.
4# Chest Pain
A sudden strong pain in your chest that spreads to your neck and arms could be a sign of a heart attack. Although women tend to experience a wider range of heart attack symptoms than men do, Arthur Agatston, MD, a preventive cardiologist says that there are three good indicators that something isn’t right, and these apply to both men and women. The symptoms include chest pain that doesn’t disappear, shortness of breath, and any upper body pain that hasn’t occurred before. Other signs of cardiac problems that require medical examination include feeling tired when doing minimal exercise and nausea when going upstairs.
5# Severe head pain
Although a splitting headache is commonly caused by a migraine, if it isn’t accompanied by other migraine symptoms, such as a visual aura, it could indicate a brain aneurysm. According to Elsa-Grace Giardina, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Center for Women’s Health at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center “A burst aneurysm can cause brain damage within minutes, so you need to call 911 immediately.” If you exclude any other causes, such as a migraine, sinusitis or a cold, your headache is most likely the result of a stroke. In case this happens, see a doctor immediately!
6# Pain When Urinating
A burning sensation while urinating is a symptom of an infection. Urinary tract infection (UTI) doesn’t only cause this type of discomfort, but is also accompanied by fatigue, fever, and stomach bloating. Generally, it’s the result of cystitis, kidney or bladder problems, or slight irritation, all of which require medical examination.
7# Calf Pain
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a life-threatening condition affecting 2 million Americans each year. Although it’s less known compared to other cardiovascular conditions, DVT can be fatal because a blood clot that has appeared in the leg’s deep veins can break loose and cause pulmonary embolism, a clot in the lungs. Pain is not always an indicator of DVT; sometimes only swelling of the leg is. There are many risk factors that lead to deep vein thrombosis and these include cancer, obesity, immobility due to prolonged bed rest or long-distance travel, pregnancy, and advanced age.