For what pain patients urgently need to see a doctor
Heart attacks, strokes and malignant tumors are often associated with pain. Therefore, sufferers should take their body's alarm signals seriously and consult a doctor. Because stomach, back or headaches are not always harmless. This is what Hartmut Göbel, chief physician at the Pain Clinic Kiel and specialist in neurology and pain therapy, points out in an interview with the magazine "Fokus".
Pain as an alarm signal for serious diseases such as cancer Pain is always a warning signal from the body that occurs as a result of a stimulus - for example, a thud or a knife cut. The feeling of pain is generated by certain substances inherent in the body that are passed on via the nerves. Endorphins act as opponents to make the pain bearable. They have a calming and anti-anxiety effect.
Most complaints are based on harmless causes. Back pain can occur as a result of too heavy lifting or incorrect posture. They usually disappear after a few days. Almost everyone knows abdominal pain after eating too much. You are not a cause for concern. However, if the symptoms appear suddenly and very violently, caution is advised. For example, severe, acute abdominal pain can be an alarm signal for a sick organ. Appendicitis or inflammation, gallstones, pancreatitis, kidney stones, renal pelvic inflammation and many other diseases that urgently need treatment can be behind this. In the worst case, the pain is due to a malignant tumor. Abdominal cramps in particular should be dealt with quickly, as an appendectomy could be at risk, which could be fatal if left untreated. If the symptoms appear in the upper area of the abdomen, a stomach ulcer or an inflamed esophagus can also be the cause of the pain reaction.
Alert signal back pain Almost everyone knows back pain. However, if they occur very suddenly without a previous causal event, a doctor should also be consulted quickly. In this case, an aneurysm and heart or lung problems can be used as a diagnosis. In addition, a lumbago or a herniated disc can cause severe pain. Kidney pain mainly occurs on the flank, but can also radiate in the back and stomach. If these are shown together with nausea and vomiting, it is reasonable to assume that kidney stones cause the symptoms. On the other hand, if the problems concern the back area between the shoulder blades, this could indicate inflammation of the joint (arthritis). But heart attack, stomach or abdominal discomfort are also associated with pain in this area in some cases. In the worst case, life-threatening aortic dissection (tear of the inner wall of the main artery) threatens.
Leg pain that is not due to overuse could be caused by thrombosis or venous thrombosis. For safety reasons, a doctor should be consulted if the leg pain persists or suddenly occurs. If your feet are burning, the problems could indicate diabetes. Other possible causes of foot problems include gout, leg vein thrombosis or non-diabetic circulatory disorders.
Chest pain can indicate a heart attack If a sudden severe pain in the chest occurs, which can radiate into the neck, neck, jaw, shoulder blades, arms or upper abdomen, a doctor should be called immediately. These symptoms may indicate a heart attack that needs medical attention as soon as possible. About a quarter of the approximately 200,000 people who suffer a heart attack in Germany annually die. Chest pain associated with shortness of breath may also indicate pulmonary embolism or digestive discomfort. Low back pain also often radiates into the chest.
Severe headaches can also be a warning sign of a serious illness. If the symptoms appear suddenly and very strongly, they could announce a stroke. If the affected person also complains of flu-like symptoms, it can also be an inflammation of the brain. Migraines, cluster headaches or trigeminal neuralgia are also possible causes of severe headaches.
Neuralgia (nerve pain) can affect various tissues and cause severe discomfort from nerve damage. Damage to the nerve, for example, is caused by shingles. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) can also be associated with nerve pain.
Gender-specific differences in dealing with the alarm signal pain There are clear differences between the sexes when dealing with pain. "Experimental studies have shown that it is embarrassing for men to show pain," explains Goebel. The female gender, on the other hand, deals with complaints much more openly. “Women focus more on the emotional and interpersonal aspects of pain. In contrast, men pursue problem-solving and instrumental strategies. ”As a result, women often receive treatment faster. “Women have a wider range of ways to manage pain than men. They are more likely to be helped, seek more social support, take medication and go to the doctor earlier. ”Men, on the other hand, would tend to want to solve the problem themselves. "This can result in faster chronification, unsuccessful warnings of possible damage and overloading," warns the expert. Contrary to popular belief, "women would be almost twice as sensitive to pain stimuli as men." (Ag)