151016 Paying attention to the red flags of pain
Pain is your body telling you something is not right. Maybe it’s simply a little ache that quickly goes away, but what if it is excruciating. Some pain signs are serious red flags that need to prompt attention by a medical professional. Carefully consideration of these signs may be the step that is necessary to prevent further deterioration of a manageable condition. An emergency pain signal, one that should get you moving to an emergency department, is one or more of the following symptoms:
A sudden onset of severe pain that is unrelated to an accident or some other situation that commonly would constitute an accident
Upper abdominal area or chest pain or pressure
Having difficulty in breathing or suffering from shortness of breath that is not normal to your situation
Dizziness, fainting, weakness, particularly if the dizziness and weak condition comes on suddenly
Sudden severe headache or a change in your vision
Difficulty in speaking or understanding others
Confusion or sudden changes in your mental status, a loved one or someone close to you may be the first to notice this change
Persistent and severe vomiting or diarrhea
The major categories of pain-acute and chronic
Acute pain is normally the result of an illness, some sort of injury or occurs after surgery. This type of pain causes the body to automatically stop what you are doing in an effort to protect the body from further harm. This is due to the tissue damage that causes the pain receptors to respond.
Unlike chronic pain, acute pain can be pinpointed. You know exactly where you hurt and can put your fingers in the area where it hurts. Fortunately, this kind of pain generally subsides with time and gradually goes away.
Chronic pain by definition usually lasts six months or longer. It may stem from a chronic joint condition caused by arthritis, peripheral neuropathy or it could be the residual effects of an accident, infection, tumor or surgery that has damaged the nerves. In other cases, the cause of the pain is not understood because there is no evidence of a disease or damage to the tissues that would trigger it.
Changes in pain
Typically, your pain will gradually subside over time with the proper treatment. If this does not happen then a revisit with your doctor is in order just as it would be if the pain changes in character. For instance if your pain moves up the scale from mild to severe or greater then call your care provider and follow their suggestions. A more serious change would be an onset of new symptoms such as tingling or numbness; both demand a consult with your doctor as soon as you can get in to see them. Your doctor should revaluate these changes in the pain characteristics. They will conduct an examination and either eliminate a possible serious threat to your health or change the directions of the present care program.
Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most commonly reported health issues.
Throughout one’s life, there more than likely will be at least one episode of low back pain. The cause can be muscle strains, deconditioning of the body brought on by a sedentary lifestyle, spinal disk damage from accidents and the degenerative diseases of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In some cases, the pain escalates into an unbearable situation and must be aggressively dealt with by the medical professional.
In the present case of low back pain, serious red flags that appear need to be heeded and promptly attended to by a medical professional. If you experience the following, it is time to seek outside help.
Fever or chills and or night sweats
An inability to empty your bladder
Incontinence of your bladder or bowels
Weight loss that you cannot explain
Pain that cannot be relieved with rest and relaxation
If you are awakened at night by your pain
The inability of positional changes to alleviate your pain symptoms
Numbness, pain weakness in your legs, either one or both of them
These signs or symptoms could indicate an undiagnosed condition such as an infection, compression fracture of the spinal column due to osteoporosis, nerve root or spinal cord compression, a kidney stone or stones, an abdominal aortic aneurysm, spinal cancer or a tumor that may have started elsewhere and spread to the spine. In the case of the latter, these are especially true in the case of prostate, breast and lung cancers. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and don’t let these signals pass without an examination by your doctor.