Popping a few pills might temporarily alleviate pain in the short-term but ignoring the symptoms for long can prove harmful to your body. Pain is a warning sign that something is wrong. It’s when you don’t heed what the body is saying, that you suffer adverse consequences. Knowing the common pains that you need to watch out for will ensure that you won’t regret having missed the signs when you develop a more complicated condition later on.
1) Chest Pain
There are many possible causes for chest pain. Some are mildly inconvenient such as heartburn, reflux, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease ) while others are a lot more serious.
Lack of exercise or obesity can lead to chest pain when you exert your body too much. But if you are generally fit and yet experience discomfort in the chest even after a little exertion, that’s when you need to worry. Pain, pressure, or a squeezing feeling in your chest is a classic sign of a heart attack. It means your heart isn’t getting enough oxygen from your blood. It usually hurts worse when you’re active.
“Sometimes people will describe it as an elephant sitting on their chest,” says Pam R. Taub, MD, a cardiologist in San Diego, CA. “It’s a heaviness, and a very severe pain, and it’s often associated with shortness of breath.”
Of course, not all pains in the chest or arm are pointers to heart attacks, but it makes a lot of sense to consult a doctor to rule out heart attack if you have pain in the chest, arm or jaw. If you often feel tired or breathless even after walking for a short distance, do consult a doctor.
Generally, discomfort associated with heart diseases affects the upper chest, left side of the chest, throat, jaw, left shoulder or arm, and might be accompanied by nausea and sweating. If you are a diabetic, there is an urgent need to be cautious. Diabetics are known to suffer from heart attacks without the classical symptoms mentioned above.
2) Mild, Frequent Headache
Headache is an often neglected problem. If the pattern of headaches changes considerably or the headache is new, then it needs to be evaluated. Headache which follows a fall or an injury (even momentary loss of consciousness), needs to be investigated.
“Most people worry that it’s a brain tumor,” says Gretchen E. Tietjen, MD. She’s chair of neurology at the University of Toledo Medical Center in Ohio.
But chances are, it’s not. “A lot of the brain doesn’t have nerve endings,” Tietjen says. “So most headaches are going to be caused by something else.”
Constant headache that grossly disturbs your daily routine should not be ignored. Severe headache is generally associated with nausea and vomiting. Pins and needles sensation (tingling, numbness) along with some weakness in hands or fingers, herald the sign of an impending stroke and should be promptly evaluated. If the headache is accompanied by a cold, it might be a sign of a sinus headache.
3) Back Ache
It is probably the commonest and the most ignored of the lot. Most of the time, backache is a consequence of faulty sitting position. It usually resolves on its own. If the pain persists despite routine efforts to alleviate the pain or if it disturbs your lifestyle, you need to be careful. Pain experienced while climbing up or down or passing blood in urine, are early signs of kidney stones. Repeated back pain may be a sign of a spine problem, problems with internal organs or a preliminary sign of slip disc.
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