Some aches are nothing to worry about and may go away on their own. Others could be a sign of a serious health problem and could be worth getting checked out by a professional. Knowing when to worry about common pains such as headaches, toothaches, stomach aches, sore throats, and back pain can be difficult, but it’s important to seek medical attention when needed.
Understanding the Risks of 5 Common Pains around the Body
Many people experience headaches as a result of stress, bad posture, or a hangover. These headaches are often mild and tend to go away on their own. If you experience a more severe headache, it could be a concern. Migraines are extremely painful and debilitating headaches that go away on their own but often keep recurring – these are often triggered by something (much like an allergy) and are worth talking to a doctor about.
Severe sudden headaches with no build-up are known as thunderclap headaches are also worth seeing a doctor about. Generally speaking, any persistent or severe headache is a good reason to see a doctor. Headaches following head injuries should always be followed up by a doctor consultation immediately.
Got a toothache that’s been going on for more than two days? It could be worth seeing a dentist. Toothaches are often caused by infections.
The longer you let these infections rage on, the harder and more expensive they will be to treat. The infection may even spread to other teeth if you’re not careful. Of course, there could be other reasons for a toothache such as a crack or a piece of food stuck in between your teeth – in all cases, it’s worth seeing a dentist to get to the bottom of it.
Most stomach aches are mild and are caused by gas, intolerances, or stomach bugs. More severe stomach aches could have more serious causes such as appendicitis or pancreatitis.
If the pain is severe and has come on suddenly, it is generally worth seeing a doctor. You should also see a doctor immediately if your vomit or poo has blood in it.
Sore throats often accompany a cold and tend to go away within a week. If you’ve had a persistent sore throat for over a week, it could be worth seeing a doctor.
This could be particularly worthwhile if you’re having trouble swallowing or breathing because of the pain. A sore throat accompanied by a fever that lasts more than two days is also generally a concern – call a doctor to see what they suggest.
Almost everyone experiences back pain at some point in their life. It is very common as we get older, at which point it can become chronic. Most people can continue day-to-day activity with back pain, but for some people, it can become so bad that it gets in the way of work, disrupts sleep, or interferes with responsibilities. In these cases, it is often worth seeing a doctor.
Severe back pain may need more than over-the-counter painkillers – a doctor may be able to prescribe stronger medication or help you explore procedures.
While these common pains are usually not serious, it’s important to know when to worry and seek medical attention. Always pay attention to your body and if in doubt, consult a medical professional.