“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.” – Thomas Carlyle
When our bodies are in pain, that means that they are trying to tell us something. “You know your body best… When you see or feel something different or just feel ‘off,’ pay attention; don’t dismiss it,” says deputy chief medical officer, Len Lichtenfeld, M.D.
Usually, pain can be explained away. Maybe you’re dehydrated and you have a headache, so you drink some water to make you feel better. Or, your muscles are sore because you’ve been working out at the gym. These are pains that have easy explanations and can be fixed at home.
However, there are some categories of pain that take place in parts of your body that you don’t want to ignore. Here are some of the places to never ignore pain that you can’t explain away.
Here Are 5 Pains In Your Body You Shouldn’t Ignore
1. Abdominal pain
Pain that focuses in the abdomen isn’t something that should be ignored. There are many different explanations for abdominal pain, and it could be something quite serious. For example, pain in the abdomen could be caused by gallstones, pancreatitis, or an ectopic pregnancy.
“The gut… is significantly linked to overall health and disease. However, many people put up with discomfort because they believe such pains are common,” says consultant gastroenterologist, Dr. Reshma Rakshit.
If you ever feel pain in your abdomen that is severe, abnormal, and has no immediate cause, you will want to consult your doctor right away. Getting abdominal pain checked out as soon as possible will keep you safe from any dangerous illnesses that you can’t see inside your body.
Everyone gets headaches. Usually, all you have to do is pop some aspirin and drink some water. However, severe headaches can be caused by something far more serious. If your headaches are debilitating, or cause you to have flashes of light in front of your eyes, you may be dealing with migraines. Severe headaches can also be caused by a bleeding stroke. However, a “bleeding stroke” headache will come on quickly and become incredibly intense within just a few seconds.
“If you have a cold, it could be a sinus headache… But you could have a brain hemorrhage or brain tumor. With any pain, unless you’re sure of what caused it, get it checked out,” says spokeswoman for the American College of Physicians, Sandra Fryhofer, MD. Therefore, if your headache is abnormal and severe, see a doctor as soon as you can to avoid any serious issues.
3. Leg pain
Pain that originates in the legs and calves could be from working out if you have a regular gym routine. However, if you’re not the type to hit the gym, you want to be careful of sudden or severe pain in your legs and calves. Leg pain is one of the most common types of pains for blood clotting. This type of pain will be much different than a regular leg cramp, and you’ll be able to feel it deep down in your leg.
“The danger is that a piece of the clot could break loose and cause pulmonary embolism [a clot in the lungs], which could be fatal,” adds Fryhofer. If you don’t have an explanation for why your leg is suddenly hurting, make sure you get to a doctor as soon as possible so that they can rule out a blood clot in your leg.
Pain in the upper back can be caused by any number of things, from overworking your muscles to lifting something that’s a little too heavy. However, it’s not a pain that you want to brush off if it’s severe and comes on quickly. “In rare cases, pain may be caused by other problems, such as gallbladder disease, cancer, or an infection,” states WebMD.
Upper back pain can also be caused by muscle spasms, pressure on the spinal cord caused by herniated disks, and even tears in your aorta that can cause blood flow to go to the wrong place. If you’re experiencing severe pain in the upper back, make sure you go to a doctor right away and make sure it isn’t something serious.
5. Tooth pain
Most people have experienced dental pain in some form of another. Either you’ve gotten a cavity, or those pesky wisdom teeth have decided to start coming in at the worst possible time. However, dental pain can also be very serious, and it isn’t something that you want to ignore. If you’ve still got your wisdom teeth and you have severe and very painful dental pain, you could possibly have an impacted wisdom tooth.
Another explanation for dental pain is a tooth abscess, which will also cause swelling throughout your jaw and throat. These two things can be extremely painful, so make sure you go to the dentist any time you have severe and abnormal tooth pain.
Emergency room physician Leigh Vinocur says, “You notice your neck is getting swollen, the skin looks red, your voice sounds funny, you’re drooling because you can’t swallow your own saliva, it can actually track down to your airway and cause airway obstruction. Don’t let a tooth ache get that bad.”
We put our bodies through a lot during our daily lives, and having some aches and pains are normal, especially as we age. However, it’s always important to know what type of pain is normal and what type of pain isn’t. There are bound to be times where you feel pain and are able to explain why you ache – however, when you feel abnormal or severe pain, don’t hesitate to go to the doctor and figure out exactly what it is. It’s much more important to be cautious and proactive, especially when it comes to the pain in our bodies!