Pain You Should Not Ignore
We guys like to think we’re tough, that we can take the pain no matter what. You know: No pain, no gain. Ice it down, and forget about it.
But ignoring some pain isn’t tough, it’s just dumb, and doing so could put your life in danger.
Seek medical attention if you experience any of the following.
If you suddenly get hit by a severe, debilitating headache unlike anything you’ve ever suffered, it could foretell a host of serious medical conditions, including:
- Bleeding on the brain (especially if you suffered a blow to the head recently)
- Brain tumor
Be especially concerned -- and head to the hospital -- if the headache is accompanied by confusion, speaking difficulties or changes in vision, which suggest a stroke.
Sure, we’ve all had indigestion after a big meal of fried or spicy food, but persistent or intense pain could be:
- An ulcer
- Abdominal aneurysm, which also can cause severe back pain and can be fatal
- Appendicitis, especially if it’s in your lower-right abdomen, which usually requires immediate surgery; it can make you very sick if your appendix bursts
- Gallbladder, especially if it’s in the upper abdomen (again, requiring removal)
- Pancreatitis, again in the upper abdomen (treatable, no surgery)
- Intestinal blockage, which may require surgery
Extremely Tender Scrotum
If those most sensitive of spots have become so tender that it’s painful and it’s not going away, there’s a good chance you’ve got a problem requiring a look by the doc. It could be:
- Testicular torsion, a condition where a testicle and blood vessels twist inside the scrotum; if it’s serious enough, it can cut off the blood supply and require emergency surgery to save the testicle
- Epididymitis, a testicular infection that could be caused by an enlarged prostate or sexually transmitted disease
- Kidney stone, the pain from which can radiate to the scrotum and cause lower back pain
- Testicular tumor or cancer
- Inguinal hernia, a bulge that can protrude into the scrotum
Everyone knows sharp chest pains can be a heart attack unfolding, but the pain can be more subtle. Chest pain could be pneumonia if accompanied by:
- Shortness of breath or a sensation of chest squeezing or fullness
- Pain, discomfort or tingling radiating into your jaw, neck or down your arms
- Weakness or lethargy
Surviving a heart attack often is determined by how quickly you receive medical attention. And while pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, it’ll only get worse if left untreated. Let it go too long and you’ll find yourself in the hospital, fighting for your life.
You’ve probably heard the advice about getting up and moving around if you’re on a long flight overseas. That’s because you can get a blood clot in your legs called deep-vein thrombosis. This throbbing leg pain is usually accompanied by swelling and tenderness.
The problem with blood clots is they can become fatal if they travel up to your heart and lungs. Clots can be dissolved if discovered soon enough.
Jeff Waddle is a Cincinnati-based freelance writer and contributor to ManoftheHouse.com.
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