Don’t Ever Ignore These 7 Pains

By:Ariba Khaliq, Onlymyhealth Editorial Team,Date:May 16, 2015

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No one wants pain, yet it's the body's way of getting your attention when something is wrong. Sometimes, pain might signal something more serious than just a cramp. Here is a guide to pains you should never ignore—and why.
  • 1

    Your Body is Trying to Tell You Something

    Usually a headache is just a headache, and heartburn is nothing more than a sign that you rang the Taco Bell once too often. Except when they're not. Pain is your body's way of telling you that something isn't quite right. More often than not, you have some idea of what's behind it. But when it comes on suddenly, lingers longer than usual, or just seems different, it calls for medical attention—and the sooner, the better. According to our experts, all of the following pain conditions should be considered red flags.

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  • 2

    Pain or Discomfort in the Chest

    If we could become well versed in the subtle language of the heart, many could avoid needless worry and expense. Studies have found that women experience a wider range of heart attack symptoms than men do. There are three good indicators that something isn't right, and they can occur in either gender. They are chest pain that doesn't go away, varied shortness of breath, and any upper body pain that hasn't occurred before. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately.

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  • 3

    Worst Headache of Your Life

     If you have a cold, it could be a sinus headache. But you could have a brain haemorrhage or brain tumour. With any pain, unless you're sure of what caused it, get it checked out. Chances are, it's a migraine. If your headache isn't accompanied by other migraine symptoms (such as a visual aura), sudden, it can signal a brain aneurysm. A burst aneurysm can cause brain damage within minutes, so you need to call emergency immediately.

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  • 4

    A Throbbing Tooth

    It's likely that the tooth's nerve has become damaged, probably because the surrounding pearly white enamel is cracked or rotting away. Unless you get it patched up quickly, bacteria in your mouth can invade the nerve. And you definitely don't want that breeding colony to spread throughout your body. If your tooth is already infected, you'll require a root canal, in which the tooth's bacteria-laden pulp is removed and replaced with plastic caulking material.

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  • 5

    Sharp Pain in Your Side

    If you feel as if you're being skewered in your right side, and you're also nauseated and running a fever, you could have appendicitis. For women, another possibility is an ovarian cyst. Typically these fluid-filled sacs are harmless and disappear on their own. But if one twists or ruptures, it can cause terrible pain. In both cases, you're looking at emergency surgery. If you don't remove an inflamed appendix, it can burst. A twisted cyst also needs to be removed right away, as it can block blood flow to the ovary within hours.

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  • 6

    Abdominal Discomfort with Gas or Bloating

    For the past month, you've felt gassy and bloated more days than not, and it takes fewer slices of pizza to fill you up than it once did. If the symptoms are new, the worst-case scenario is ovarian cancer. In 2007, the Gynaecologic Cancer Foundation released the first national consensus on early symptoms of this form of cancer: bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, and difficulty eating. If you start experiencing them almost daily for more than two or three weeks, consider it a red flag. Schedule an appointment with your ob-gyn to discuss your symptoms.

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  • 7

    Back Pain with Tingling Toes

    If you've just helped your cousin move into her new fourth-floor apartment, anti-inflammatories should banish the pain. But if they don't work, hobble to an orthopaedist. One of your discs (the spongy rings that cushion the bones in your spine) could be pressing on the spinal nerve. Without proper attention, you risk permanent nerve damage.

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  • 8

    Leg Pain with Swelling

    Your calf is extremely tender in one location, noticeably swollen, and red or warm to the touch. You might have deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), commonly known as a blood clot. Resist the urge to massage the area or to try walking off the pain. If the clot breaks free, it can travel through your veins up to your lungs and cut off your oxygen supply. Instead, see your doctor right away. He or she will do a CT scan or ultrasound to check for a DVT. If that's what you have, you'll need to take blood thinners—sometimes for up to a year—to dissolve it.

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