A doctor review patient records after a failed back surgery

PUBLISHED04/05/2023


Pain is an inevitable part of life; however, not all pain is created equal. Sometimes, some acute pain can seem intense in the moment, but dissipate within a few minutes. Meanwhile, more severe and chronic pain can not only interfere with your daily life, but severe pain symptoms may be signs of a potentially life-threatening, underlying illness. This is why it’s critical you seek immediate professional help if you are experiencing any severe pain.

Read on to learn more about the 5 different types of pain you should never ignore!

1.   Chronic Back Pain

Although back pain is common, chronic back pain that persists for several months without any improvement may be a sign of something worse. Severe chronic back pain may be a sign of a torn muscle or ligament, a compression fracture, or potentially even cancer that may have metastasized to the spine.

Senior man suffering from chronic back pain after sleeping on his back
Senior man suffering from back pain after sleeping on uncomfortable mattress at home

2.   Sudden Chest Pain

You should never ignore any sudden, unusual chest pain or any pressure in the center of your chest. Chest pain may be a sign of several series of conditions like pulmonary embolism, pneumothorax, and potentially even a heart attack.

Sometimes, chest pain can spread to other nearby areas such as the arms, neck, or back, and may be accompanied by other symptoms like shortness of breath and nausea. It’s also important to understand the chest pain you’ll experience before a potential heart attack isn’t necessarily sharp, intense pain. Chest pain caused by a potential heart attack is typically a dull pain or pressure that may oftentimes be ignored as heartburn.

3.   Severe Abdominal Pain

If you have sharp pain in the center of your abdomen that slowly spreads and shifts to other surrounding areas like around the belly button and lower right side, this may be a sign you have appendicitis which requires immediate medical attention. Oftentimes, appendicitis is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and a fever.

Other conditions like an inflamed gallbladder or pancreas, or an inflamed ovarian cyst if you are female may be to blame for your abdominal pain, which are more conditions you should not ignore.

A women with abdominal pelvic pain is holding her stomach

4.   Severe Headache

Headaches are common. However, if you are experiencing the most intense migraine of your life that seemingly comes out of nowhere, this may be a sign of something serious and should not be ignored! An intense migraine that comes all of a sudden may be a sign of a ruptured aneurysm, which is bleeding in the brain as a result of a blood vessel that suddenly bursts.

Typically, a ruptured aneurysm is associated with other possible symptoms like double vision, nausea, and vomiting.

A women sitting on a bed with headache pain
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5.   Leg Pain

If one of your legs becomes painful and swollen all of sudden, and the pain makes it difficult to walk or stand, this may be an underlying sign you possibly have deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot that occurs deep within the leg. These clots are dangerous because they can travel from the leg to the lungs which can be life-threatening. Typically this pain occurs more in people who weren’t moving enough to keep their blood flowing throughout their legs. For example, overweight people who lack consistent movement/ exercise or people stuck in hospital beds.

Comprehensive Pain Management Can Help!

If you are suffering from any of the pain types listed in this article then it may be time to seek help from a comprehensive management specialist who can help diagnose your condition and recommend treatment helps to help your body heal.

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