Most of the time, we experience body pains that don't mean a thing. They are usually eased with rest, ice or ibuprofen. But what happens when the pain doesn't go away? It might be time to schedule a doctor's appointment because some of these seemingly harmless pains can be deadly.
1. Pain from the neck up
You probably just slept in an awkward position and woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Shake it off, stretch it out and work on improving your posture.
But neck stiffness, paired with other symptoms like violent vomiting, seizures, sensitivity to bright lights and headaches that last longer than a migraine, might be signs of meningitis (inflammation of the lining around the brain and spinal cord). Bacterial meningitis can cause brain damage and even death.
If you're far from feeling brokenhearted, aches in your chest can be a sign of heartburn and acid reflux - both of which are easily treatable. On the other hand, chest aches could hint at a more serious diagnosis.
Other areas of the chest include the lungs, the heart and the breast so don't ignore pain in these areas. Pneumonia thrives most in cold winter months, so don't pass off long-term coughing, sneezing and hacking as "just a cold" or the flu. A lasting cough and chest pain can also be signs of tuberculosis or lung cancer.
Chest pain could be also be a symptom of breast cancer. Once you start to experience pain and swelling, skin irritation and dimpling, nipple pain and retraction, it is important for you to schedule a mammogram.
3. Back and tailbone pain
Lack of exercise, bad posture, sitting for too long and lifting heavy objects improperly can cause frequent back and tailbone pain. If you don't address these problems, it will probably develop into chronic back ache. While the ache itself won't kill you, studies have discovered a connection between chronic pain, depression and suicide.
Pain caused by swimmer's ear is normal especially if you just came from the pool or the beach, but that pain could mean something else.
One worst case scenario is acoustic neuroma, a tumor that only grows on a nerve in the brain. This tumor causes problems with hearing and balance. Talk with your doctor to decide if surgery is necessary.
Sometimes your pearly whites look and feel healthy from the outside, but deep down in your gums, something is horribly wrong.
When food gets stuck between teeth and gums, bacteria can enter through a crack or a cavity. It can then lead to inflammation and possibly spread to the head and neck. In rare and deadly cases, the infection spreads to the bloodstream - Who knew a simple toothache could be so fatal?
6. Sharp pains in stomach
Stomach pains caused by diarrhea, menopausal cramps and bloating can usually be alleviated by over-counter remedies. However, pain in the lower right area of the stomach indicates appendicitis that can be deadly if not treated immediately.
For women, bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain and difficulty eating are warnings signs of ovarian cancer.
Women, especially those who've already passed the menopausal stage, should no longer be experiencing any vaginal bleeding. This could be a sign ofcervicalor fallopian tube cancer. A visit to the gynecologist is vital if you have this symptom.
Prostate cancer has similar initial symptoms as a UTI, so it's easy to confuse the two, but that could be a deadly mistake. Both UTI's and potential prostate cancer symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.
Problems with your vision or pain in your eyes could be a sign ofeye cancer - which could easily spread to other places in your body via your bloodstream. Schedule routine eye exams every other year to help catch this disease early.
Trust yourself to know if the pains you are feeling are no longer normal. Stay vigilant and always put your health first - everything else can wait.