When Should You Take Pain Seriously?

When Should You Take Pain Seriously?

We’ve all experienced it – this small, nagging pain that stays a little longer than we expect it to. How do you tell if the pain is a symptom of something serious?

Summary:

Recognize signs of dangerous pain. If you have crushing chest pain that’s not gone by the time you reach the telephone, dial 911.

The pain should decrease. If they don’t get better overtime, take action. Say you run every day and week by week you’re getting worse and worse instead of better. That’s something that needs attention. I’m not saying it’s anything terribly serious, but you might be causing excessive wear and tear. For example, your feet may be aligned in a particular way that puts too much wrestle in your knees or your hips. You might be overusing certain muscles or certain joints. If that’s your case, see a physical therapist, a chiropractor, massage therapist or sports doc. There are many kinds of people you could see that could help with that.

Do you have chronic pain? A big one these days is fibromyaglia. That’s a very, very big and confusing topic because there are so many factors involved. People with firbomyaglia almost always have pain and their nervous systems are extraordinarily sensitive to pain. If you touch their muscles lightly, they experience pain. When you put people with fibromyalgia into a functional MRI, a device that measures pain, the MRI recognises that pain is very real. It’s no different than being punched very hard to induce serious pain.

Congratulations on taking another step towards managing your pain. The more we know about pain, the better equipped we are to lead a pain-free life.

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Transcription:

Interviewer: Talk a little bit about when we should take a pain seriously. A lot of people say I’ve had this thing that’s been bugging me for a day or two or then it turns into a week or two and then longer. When do we need to say okay, I really need to look at this?

Dr. Heather Tick: Well, there are some dangerous signs for certain pains. If you have chest pain that’s crushing, even if it’s been there for 10 seconds, if it’s not gone by the time you’ve gotten to the telephone do dial 911. If there are sudden new onsets of headaches, have that investigated. If you are certainly over the age of 20 that should be looked at by a physician to make sure there’s nothing else going on that’s actually serious. But we all lived with a certain level of pain past the age of I don’t know what maybe 2?

We’re used to reconditioning pain so we use some new muscles they started to get sore and ache-y but then they get better overtime. If they don’t get better overtime and say you’re getting worse and worse instead of it’s getting easier and easier then there’s something that needs attention. I’m not saying it’s anything terribly serious but you might be causing excessive wear and tear because, for example, your feet maybe aligned in a particular way that puts too much wrestle in your knees or your hips. You might be overusing certain muscles, overusing certain joints so see a physical therapist, a chiropractor, massage therapist, sports doc lot of different kinds of people you could see that could help with that.

And then for a lot of chronic types of pain, we have… I mean a big one these days is fibromyaglia what gets called fibromyaglia and that’s a very, very big topic that’s very confusing because there are so many factors that are involved.

People with fibromyalgia almost always have pain and their nervous systems are extraordinarily sensitive to pain. So that if you touch their muscles lightly, they’re experiencing pain and when you put people with that condition into a functional MRI, device that measures pain it measures that they’re feeling pain. It’s no different than if I was being poked very hard to induce serious pain. That’s the same brain picture that happens there.

2017-06-15T16:14:44+00:00 March 24th, 2016|Pain Management|

About the Author:

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For over 20 years Dr. Tick has dedicated herself to researching evidence-based holistic treatments for pain and inflammation. A multiple-book author, including the highly acclaimed Holistic Pain Relief - An In-Depth Guide to Managing Chronic Pain, Dr. Tick empowers her patients to live free of pain and full of life. She is the first holder of the prestigious Gunn-Loke Endowed Professorship of Integrative Pain Medicine at the University of Washington and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington in the departments of Family Medicine and Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine.

2 Comments

  1. Chad Davis April 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Thanks! Very helpful. My knee replacement left me with one leg longer than the other. Hip pain complications set in. A better diet and using a lift on one side to balance me out is starting to help some, but the lift in my shoe should have been there on day one, as muscles are challenged like never before with… PAIN. Thanks for all the tips…

    • mm
      Dr. Heather Tick M.D. April 12, 2016 at 9:47 am - Reply

      You are absolutely right. The discrepancy in leg length should have been addressed early on. Glad you found some solutions. Sometimes it takes time though to see how good things can actually get.

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