It’s all very well thinking that the pain will pass quickly, that you’ll feel better in the morning, or that you can sort out the problem yourself, but there are some types of pain that are really serious, and warrant medical attention. Find out what they are.
What kinds of pain are dangerous
Penetrating back pain
Many people suffer from back pain on a regular basis, and it may be caused by postural issues, injuries and disc problems, but there is a type of back pain that is linked to more serious issues.
A penetrating back pain may be a sign of thoracic aortic aneurysm, and often go unnoticed because the symptoms can be a little elusive. Other warning signs include:
- pain in the jaw, neck and upper back
- coughing, hoarseness or difficulty breathing.
If the aneurysm is large and close to the heart, it may affect your heart and lead to congestive heart failure. This is an emergency situation, so seek help right away. If you have been smoking for a long time, or have high blood pressure or a family history of aneurysms, you are more at risk. If you suspect that you might have a heart problem or have penetrating back pain, get it checked out.
A stabbing pain in your abdomen
Almost everyone has had a stabbing pain in the abdomen, and most of the causes are not serious and can be easily diagnosed and treated. However, it is important to be able to recognise when your condition has become serious. If the abdominal pain is severe and is accompanies by any of the following symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor:
- the inability to keep food down for several days
- painful or very frequent urination
- the inability to go to the toilet and pass solid matter, especially if you are vomiting too
- pain which lasts for several days.
These symptoms can be an indication that there is an internal problem going on and you should seek medical care, especially if you:
- vomit blood
- there is blood in the toilet when you pass urine or stools
- you are pregnant and in pain.
Temporary chest pain
Chest pain can be caused by a number of factors, including angina, pericarditis, mitral valve prolapse, aortic stenosis, dissection or premature ventricular contractions. However, many causes of temporary chest pain are entirely unrelated to the heart. It’s best to get yourself checked out the first time the chest pain occurs to be on the safe side. Other causes include:
- pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE)
- lung cancer
- and pulmonary hypertension.
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions, but have not suffered from temporary chest pain, this may be an indication that there have been changed in your condition, so get them checked out at a clinic.
Pain when urinating
Painful urination is a bit of broad term, but it’s used to describe the sensations that occur when you are urinating and there is a problem which needs to be taken care of. This pain may be caused by:
- bladder problems
- issues in the urethra
- or something going on in the perineum.
It is very common to experience painful urination, and the burning, stinging or other feelings can be caused by:
- cystitis, or other types of UTI
- an STD, including genital herpes, gonorrhea and chlamydia
- kidney stones
- other substances that may have come into contact with the skin and caused irritation or an infection. You might need to change your soap, lotion or bubble bath, which may irritate the sensitive tissues around the vagina and penis.
Painful urination can be treated with drugs, like antibiotics, but there are lifestyle adjustments that can be made to relieve the symptomes and help prevent it in the first place, including:
- avoiding scented laundry detergents and toiletries, which reduce your risk of irritation.
- use condoms during sexual activity to protect you from sexually transmitted infections
- modify your diet to eliminate foods and drinks that might irritate the bladder, including:
- spicy food
- citrus fruits and their juices
- tomatoes, and tomato products
- artificial sweeteners.
If you suffer from pain during urination on a regular basis during or after treatment, you could also try avoiding highly acidic foods to help your bladder heal. Try eating a bland diet for a few weeks while on medical treatment, and see how you go. Never ignore painful urination, as it can get worse if not treated promptly.