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How do I know when a pain you are feeling requires immediate medical attention?

Learn from the experts what certain types of pain you should never ignore.

Pain is your body's way of communicating that something is "out of whack" with a normally well functioning machine.   Sometimes it's only a minor pain telling you that you worked out a bit too hard, ate something you should have said "no" to, or didn't lift that heavy box the "correct" way.   But there are times when the pain signals something seriously wrong that requires you seek immediate medical attention.   Here are a few examples:

•  Worse headache you have ever felt.    If you have a cold, it could be a sinus headache, but if you are not sure what caused the headache, seek medical attention immediately.   It could be a brain hemorrhage, a brain tumor or a brain aneurysm.   All are critical problems that require a visit to the ER.

•  Pain or Discomfort in the Chest, Throat, Jaw, Shoulder, Arm, or Abdomen.   The discomfort associated with h eart disease sometimes appears in the upper chest, throat, jaw, left shoulder or arm, or abdomen and might be accompanied by nausea.   Serious heart problems are too often misdiagnosed as just heartburn.   Since this leading killer requires immediate medical intervention, it is best not to take a chance on an incorrect diagnosis and get medical help.

•  Pain in Lower Back or Between Shoulder Blades.   Often this is a symptom of arthritis, but it can also indicate a heart attack, abdominal problems or a ortic dissection (which can also appear as either a nagging or sudden pain). People who are at risk have conditions that can change the integrity of the vessel wall. These conditions include high blood pressure, a history of circulation problems, smoking, and diabetes.

•  Severe Abdominal Pain.   Still have your appendix? Don't flirt with the possibility of a rupture. Gallbladder and pancreas problems, stomach ulcers , and intestinal blockages are some other possible causes of abdominal pain that need attention.

There are other types of pains that people are often quick to dismiss as "nothing", but if not treated quickly can lead to greater problems and even fatalities.   Check out this link to learn more information and be wary of uninformed self-diagnosis.