While many pain and aches are nothing to worry about, certain types of pain may be a sign of serious medical issue. So it is wise to pay attention to pain.
Some types of pain may be a sign that you need to get medical medical attention immediately. Individuals have to make a judgment call for themselves, on whether they are going to go to an emergency room or seek an appointment with their doctor.
Paying close attention to your pain can make that call easier to make. Most importantly, it could even save your life. Familiarize yourself with some serious medical conditions that cause pain.
Pay Close Attention to These 5 Pains:
1. Leg Cramp
You might think that mild, dull twinge in your leg is caused by sleeping in an awkward position or dehydration, but it can also be a sign of something more serious, known as DVT or deep vein thrombosis.
According to Dr. Oz, DVT is a condition in which blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins, usually in the legs. The clot then blocks the flow of blood, therefore causing pain. That pain can become life-threatening when the clot gets loose and then travels to your lungs and blocks the flow of oxygen to the body.
What to do:
If your leg pain is mild, just 2 or 3 on the pain scale, there is a good chance it is just a cramp. If it starts climbing the scale to an intense pain, say a 5-7 or even higher, squeeze the area. If it hurts more, and if you have been traveling by plane recently or have more sedentary than usual, go to a hospital to be sure it is not DVT.
2. Lower-Back Pain
It is quick to write off lower-back pain as the result of lifting something too heavy, but this could also be a sign of kidney stones. Your kidneys act as your body’s filter by taking the toxic wastes out of your blood and expelling it in your urine.
But, sometimes bacteria, dehydration or hereditary factors cause those waste products to gather inside your kidneys, thus forming small, hard deposits that can lodge in the path to your bladder. As a result of the blockage, urine can back up, therefore causing the kidney to become inflamed and send pain signals.
What to do:
Determining the exact location of your pain and then describing the intensity with the help of the pain scale is one of the best ways to have pain relief. Your kidneys are located behind all of your organs, that is on either side of your spine.
Therefore, if the pain you experience is near your “wing bone” or below the ribs, it may be a sign of kidney stones. If the pain is located lower down your spine, it is likely lower back pain associated with improper lifting or other strain.
3. Painful Periods
Abdominal pain during your period could mean more than just normal cramping, but it could be a sign of endometriosis. If pain during your period is gearing toward the higher numbers such as 8, 9 or 10 on your pain intensity scale, you may suffer from this painful disorder.
In a normal menstrual cycle, your uterus breaks down tissue, thus shedding its lining and creating cramping in the process. In endometriosis, some of your “period lining” or uterine tissue, ends up where it should not, including the lining of your abdomen. When that tissue travels outside your uterus, it still acts like it is part of your period, therefore, it still cramps and without your body being able to release it, thus making awful pain.
Menstrual periods should be less painful as you get older, not worse. If you notice your period pain getting worse, pay close attention and schedule an appointment with your doctor.
4. Sudden Chest Pain
You suddenly feel unusual pain, pressure or discomfort in the center of your chest. The feelings may last for more than a few minutes, or they may disappear, but then come back. The pain and discomfort can spread to one or both arms or to the jaw, neck, back or stomach. Other possible symptoms include nausea, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, or a cold sweat.
What this may be:
According to Healthday, you may have a pulmonary embolism or the obstruction of a blood vessel by a clot, pneumothorax or too much gas or air in the chest cavity, or a bout of angina or chest pain caused by inadequate blood flow. Also, you might be having a heart attack.
Remember that most heart attacks start more slowly, you are more likely to feel a dull or vague pressure in the chest, than a sharp pain. Some heart attacks are so subtle, therefore, it can be hard to tell then apart from a simple heartburn or indigestion. In most cases, it takes an EKG or other hospital test to tell the difference.
What to do:
If you think you might be having a a medical emergency or heart attack, don’t wait any longer than 5 minutes to call 911 or get to a hospital. Waiting too long, if you really are having an embolism or heart attack, could be a fatal mistake.
5. Worst Headache You Have Ever Experience
Imagine your worst headache or even a skull-splitting migraine, then imagine turning up the pain several notches. This mega-headache can strike suddenly. Other possible symptoms include nausea, vomiting, double vision and a stiff neck.
What this may be
It could be just a bad migraine, but it could also be a ruptured aneurysm, which is a bleeding in the brain that happens when a weak spot in a blood vessel suddenly bursts.
While migraines can cause similar symptoms, most individual with migraines have their first episode before they turn 25. Medical doctors are concern when a person over 25 has the first killer headache of his or her life.
Anyone of any age can experience a ruptured aneurysm, but they are more common in adults than in children. People with hypertension, smokers and individuals who abuse illegal drugs or alcohol are at especially high risk.
What to do:
Call 911 or get to an emergency right away.