Living a zestful, busy life can give us no time to attend to minor aches and sores, even when they recur periodically. We just treat them with home remedies or non-prescription drugs from a local pharmacist. But how would you know that they are not early symptoms of ailments, which if left untreated, could lead to severe damage or require surgical treatment? Read on to know what health problems the common pains you suffer from could be linked to.
1. Chest Pain
Chest pains are scary, whether they cause general discomfort or a stabbing pain. According to the American Heart Association, they can be caused by heart problems such as a blockage or the reduction of blood to the heart, tearing of a heart blood vessel or even pericarditis (1). A wide range of ailments unrelated to the heart can also cause chest pain. A burning chest pain could be caused by acid reflux. Abdominal pain caused by pancreatitis can extend to the chest. Chest pain can also indicate that a blood clot has travelled to the lungs and blocked the blood circulation there.
2. Abdominal Pain
Inflammation of the appendix is the foremost cause for excruciating pain in the lower abdominal region. But it could also be due to an irritable bowel, as per medical experts (2). A cyst in the ovary, kidney stones or abnormal growth of tissue outside the uterus can also radiate mild to severe pain in the abdomen.
3. Lower Back Pain
Often caused by a pulled back muscle or ligament, lower back pain could also indicate serious disorders such as a cancerous growth in the spine, infected kidneys and nerve damage, also known as cauda equina syndrome.
4. Upper Abdomen Pain
It could be as life threatening as a heart attack, or it could even be due to stones that have formed in your gall bladder. Liver disease or an infection in the lungs that leads to pneumonia can also cause discomfort and pain in the upper abdomen.
5. Pelvic Pain
Every woman is familiar with the location of this pain, as she suffers from cramps during her monthly period. But if she is pregnant, this may indicate the possibility of a miscarriage. This pain could also be due to abnormalities in the uterus or ovaries such as fibroids, abnormal tissue growth, and cysts, which cause pelvic pain. But this pain can occur irrespective of gender if it is caused by a hernia, colon cancer, kidney stone or Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammatory bowel disease.
6. Warning Pains In The Left Side Of The Upper Body
A sign of a heart attack, known as myocardial infarction, this pain begins as discomfort in the left shoulder blade and radiates along the left arm.
They can be caused by exhaustion or tension and are easily treatable, according to the National Health Services of the United Kingdom (3). But a lab test for a sudden, severe ache could reveal a brain aneurism whereby a weakened artery has ballooned to a larger size. Alternatively, doctors at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in the United States warn that an intense headache along with numbness, weakness or dizziness could be the first signs of a stroke (4). Persistent headaches could mean that there is a tumor in the brain. Sometimes, mild ear infections can cause headaches, as can the side effects of certain prescription drugs.
8. Leg Pain
If you resume exercise after a break or overdo a workout you are bound to suffer from aches in the legs. Proper rest will get you fit and in fine fettle for the next session at the gym. But if it does not help, then you could investigate the real cause of the ache, which could be arthritis or an injury of the veins. Deep vein thrombosis or a blood clot of a vein that is deep inside your body could also cause you much pain. The usually painless varicose veins that look twisted and large can, at times, be the cause of leg aches as well.
9. Painful Breasts
Fluctuating hormones can cause this most of the time. It is not a symptom of breast cancer, as pointed out by the National Breast Cancer Foundation (5). Mothers who nurse their babies can experience this pain due to fibrocystic changes in the mammary glands. When the cartilage connecting the breastbone to the chest is affected, a painful condition called ‘costochondritis’ occurs. Also, fibromyalgia, which is related to all the muscles in the body, can cause pain to the breast muscles too.
An aching muscle or sore limb are not warning signs of serious health issues. They could go away with a little relaxation. But if you are unsure of what is happening with your body or that of your near and dear, a checkup with the doctor would clear your doubts on whether you need to be treated for a more complicated condition or not.
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