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Those Mysterious Aches & Pains You Should Not Ignore
Movies generally portray stubborn heroes ignoring his awful wounds and continuing to fight even though he seemingly suffers from a fatal injury.
Many of us similarly shrug off pain as we battle through our day, attributing our aches to stress and signs of growing older. All of us have experience with random, mysterious and sometimes lingering pains at some point in our lives. Usually the pain leaves the same way it arrived – on its own and without explanation.
While not every pain you feel is indicative of a dire emergency, some mysterious pains simply shouldn’t be ignored. While few people are enthusiastic about going to a doctor, few doctors are enthusiastic about treating a medical emergency that they could have detected or treated before the problem snowballed into a potentially life-or-death matter.
Let’s look at some of the mysterious pains we come across in our daily lives.
Continuing Joint Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which your immune system goes haywire and attacks your own tissue. This causes inflammation of not only the joints themselves, but of tissue surrounding the joints and even of other organs in your body. The result is pain and the breakdown of your joints.
Osteoarthritis, generally age-related wear and tear to cartilage that causes bones to rub together, is a common source of joint pain.
Stiffness and swelling of the joints may be caused by lupus, a disease that cycles through periods of flaring up and remission. Other symptoms of lupus include fatigue, hair loss, and fever.
Hepatitis, a condition that affects the liver, also claims joint pain as a symptom. Many other infectious diseases such as measles and chicken pox can also cause joint pain.
There is this general discomfort in our stomach after we have eaten something we shouldn’t have. But most of the times, there is no clear cause for the pain. Your torso is a busy place, and an unusual pain in your abdominal area could be a sign that any number of things has gone wrong.
Problems with nearby organs such as kidneys, lungs, or the uterus could result in abdominal discomfort. Pain in your lower-right abdomen may mean appendicitis and you need a quick removal.
Upper-right-abdominal pain could signal a problem with your gall bladder. Upper-abdominal pain (along with upper-back pain) may be a sign of pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Rest, intravenous fluids and antibiotics may resolve this condition.
Abdominal pain also could point to an intestinal blockage. A swollen liver due to hepatitis also could cause the excruciating pain in your gut.
If you have unexplained recurring or sudden abdominal pain, see your doctor immediately.
Chest pain is generally linked to heart conditions but pain from a heart attack often shows up in places other than your chest like your shoulder, arm, abdomen, lower jaw or throat. Pain in the jaw muscles after exercise could be symptom of angina, a condition in which an area of your heart muscle does not get enough oxygen-rich blood, triggering pain and discomfort usually in the chest. If you do experience a sudden pain in your shoulder or jaw area – especially if you are at risk of heart disease – stop what you’re doing, alert someone and seek medical attention.
Pain in the lower back is one of the most common pains people encounter and mostly ignore. Most people you know complain of a bad back, and it makes it easy to deal with the pain when it happens to you. In fact, back pain is the leading cause of job-related disability. Our backs contain most of our bodies’ infrastructure – muscles, tissues, nerve bundles, spines and vertebrae. Without these structures, our bodies would resemble nothing so much as a pile of unstructured flesh, like jellyfish. So it is an extremely important area to watch out for.
But sometimes lower-back pain is a symptom related to kidney trouble. The pain may relate to the formation of a kidney stone, which will usually pass (painfully) on its own. If a kidney tumor has grown large enough, it will cause pain in the lower back as well.
You should always get back pain checked out, since ignored problems with your back can become chronic problems that only worsen over time.
It is a common pain felt after a good run or a long climb up steep stairs. Your leg has a network of arteries and veins that move blood to and from your muscle and heart. The veins you can see beneath your skin are called superficial veins, and they move blood farther into the muscle itself, toward deep veins. Little valves inside the veins prevent blood from flowing the wrong way. However, clots may form due to a rupture in the vein, damage to a valve or an injury to the leg. This is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The pain stems from the clot’s presence causing a blood flow blockage, which results in swelling. This can be very serious and potentially deadly.
Anything from a hernia to cancer can cause testicular pain. The spermatic cord could be twisted, causing testicular torsion, which can cause excruciating pain.
If the discomfort in your testicle accompanies a tactile sensation that your scrotum is full of noodles, you’ve likely got varicose veins, known as varicoceles.
While headaches often appear to come out of nowhere, some headaches descend incredibly fast, striking like thunder. If your headache causes nearly blinding pain, it could be a sign of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).
In addition to a sudden headache, other signs of TIA and stroke involve neurological or cognitive difficulties, such as trouble speaking or walking. In fact, people may suddenly fall while standing or walking. Either way, get immediate medical attention. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is not right, so give your doctor a chance to discover what is wrong before it’s too late.
Tingling in Hands & Feet
If you’ve ever left your legs crossed too long, you’ve likely experienced an almost-painful tingling sensation in your legs and feet caused by decreased blood circulation. Fortunately, the tingling goes away quickly once you are standing and moving about.
If your feet or hands feel this way even when you have not kept them still for a long time, it could be sign of nerve damage. Symptoms such as tingling, numbness and a burning sensation all point to peripheral neuropathy.
It’s important to seek treatment for this condition because the reduced sensation means you’ll be less likely to notice injuries to your feet or hands. Injuries left unchecked can become infected, opening the door to a completely new set of problems.
Random Vague Pains
Usually pain in a certain part of your body signals that something in that area needs attention. In fact, this is the how pain benefits us. Your doctor performs tests like X-rays or an MRI, only to discover no obvious cause of the mysterious pains you’re experiencing.
You may have fibromyalgia, a mysterious condition that results in aches and pains, and affects more women than men. Depression can also cause floating pains in various parts of your body. This may manifest in the form of back pain, headaches and heightened sensitivity to pain.
It turns out that pain and emotion travel down some of the same neural pathways in your brain. For some people, it seems that neurotransmitters carrying news of gloom and doom can jump the tracks and result in actual physical pain. For some people, antidepressants may bring some relief.
If you’re a woman, you will know that leaving a tampon in place too long may give rise to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
One common symptom of PID is pain or discomfort in the pelvic region during sex. The inflammation can cause scarring, which can lead to problems such as infertility. The pain may not be severe and may accompany other symptoms like frequent urination or abdominal pain. Early detection is important since doctors often can treat PID with antibiotics. However, in cases where the condition isn’t detected early, surgery may be required.
Ovarian cysts can also cause pelvic pain, and while cysts often go away on their own, they may require medical intervention.
So, listen to your body when it tries to tell you something. An immediate care with the help of a physician can help ease your pain and your mind.
Image courtesy: advancemedical1.com ,