The 7 Types of Pain Men Should Never “CHOOSE” to Ignore!
Your average man – especially those of us that are middle-aged – just can’t be bothered to bother the doc when something is not quite right with our health, much to the detriment of many it has to be said. But ignoring the body’s health warnings, be they physical pains or mental suffering of some sort, is a dangerous game to play – though play it we do!
The Stubborn Reluctance of 21st Century Men
Perhaps the older man’s hesitancy to visit a health professional is because he’s genuinely concerned about taking up the valuable time of a busy general practitioner (GP)? Or maybe it’s because he likes to appear manly and weather whatever potential harm might be trying to fester, hoping against hope that whatever it is will go away on its own?
But ask a woman and she’s likely to say that underneath it all, she believes that men are just big babies and it is fear, not courage, that keeps them away from health clinics and hospitals.
“It wasn’t the cough that carried him off. It was the coffin they carried him off in.”
This old English saying dates back to Victorian times. It basically meant that if you didn’t look after yourself properly, even a common cough or cold could head straight to the chest.
Modern Medicine and Medical Knowledge is No Defence against Denial!
When you think about it, today is no different from Victorian times if a man doesn’t take proper care of himself and chooses to ignore his body’s warning signals when something is not quite right (this includes minor pains and irritations). Even with so many advances in medicine and medical know-how, it could all prove to be totally worthless if an unknown health issue is left unattended and undiagnosed for too long.
Every year the world over, men can and do die through their stubborn reluctance to get checked out when there’s a need. Women – generally speaking – are far better at taking care of themselves than men. They always have been and most probably always will be.
7 TYPES OF PAIN MEN SHOULD NEVER IGNORE
1. The Headache from Hell
Unless you know the root cause of your headache, e.g. severe hangover from a heavy drinking session, or you got badly dehydrated for whatever reason, then get it checked out without delay if your usual method of pain relief does little or nothing to alleviate the hurt.
You never know with headaches what the cause might be. There’s always the ‘potential’ for a brain hemorrhage (bleeding), or a brain tumor. When a person complains of a headache that’s worse than any they’ve ever had before, they just might be suffering the symptoms of a brain aneurysm. Chances are the headache from hell is perfectly treatable and non-life-threatening, but hey, it’s better to be safe than sorry – right?
2. Painful Chest, Jaw, Throat, Shoulder, Arm or Abdomen
When we talk of chest pain, most of us think about pneumonia and heart attack. However, with heart conditions it’s quite common for men to experience discomfort, or mild aching, more so than actual chest pain. Pain may follow discomfort (typically experienced as pressure, or a tightening up), if that discomfort goes ignored.
Other indicators of heart disease can produce discomfort in the following areas: upper chest; throat; jaw; left shoulder or arm, and the abdomen. In some cases, these symptoms might also be accompanied by nausea. As with any other unexplained pain or discomfort, the only surefire way of knowing what something is for certain is to get examined by a medical professional.
It’s not so uncommon for heart attacks to start slowly, and sometimes very subtly, so don’t ignore any of the potential symptoms. Whether the discomfort is persistent or intermittent, unless a man knows what it is, these possible warning signs should NOT be disregarded. Remember, the older a man gets, the higher the risk of heart attack becomes.
3. Acute Abdominal Pain
Acute abdominal pain is best characterized as the onset of persistent and severe pain in and around the stomach area. Men that still have their appendix could possibly be experiencing a rupture if an inflammation of the appendix is taking place. This is what’s known as appendicitis. Other possible causes of acute abdominal pain could be:
- Cholecystitis: Inflammation of the gallbladder.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of the pancreas.
- Stomach Ulcers: Also known as gastric ulcers.
- Intestinal blockages: Various forms of bowel obstruction
4. Burning Feet and or Legs
Any man experiencing an unpleasant burning, pricking, or tingling type sensation in the feet or legs (not unfamiliar to pins and needles), might have a condition called neuropathy, which is a disorder caused by nerve damage in the legs. This burning feeling may be intensified while standing or walking. Neuropathy can also be one of the first signs of diabetes. There are millions of men – and women – around the world that have undiagnosed diabetes.
Once again, such pains or discomforts should be seen by a doctor without delay.
5. Calf Pain
Deep vein thrombosis, aka deep venous thrombosis (DVT), is where a blood clot forms in the leg’s deep veins. A deep vein is a larger vein in the leg which runs through the muscles of the thigh and calf. If gone undiagnosed DVT can be life-threatening. Why it’s so dangerous is because there’s always a risk that a piece of the blood clot could break loose, travel through the blood stream into the lungs, and cause what is known as pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is when a clot blocks one of the blood vessels in the lungs.
Like most of life’s threats, this is yet one more of those things that becomes more common with age. Needless to say that Middle-aged men and older have to be more vigilant of of the warning signs than younger guys. So any swelling (with or without pain), or persistent aching in the calf muscles, needs to be heeded.
Common risk factors of DVT include: Family history of thrombosis, cancer or heart failure, overweight/obese, or immobility due to prolonged bed-rest or long-haul travel.
6. Lower Back Pain or Between Shoulder Blades
Persistent pain that gnaws away at the lower back or between the shoulder blades can cause mood swings as well as physical hurt. These pains might be down to musculoskeletal causes, but the reasons can be many. Arthritis is another probability, as is angina, reflux, lung infection or pleurisy, and abdominal problems. Needless to say that anyone experiencing pains in the lower back or shoulder blades, ought to get a professional examination and diagnosis.
7. Vague Unexplained Aches, Pains, and Irritations
These are the little things that linger which men often fail to get looked at, or at least not until they’ve become much bigger problems. It might be a stiff neck, aching wrist, ear irritation, irksome rash, constant headache, mood swings, persistent fatigue, ad infinitum.
Whenever a man feels something is not right with his physical or mental health and it shows no signs of getting better, nor does he know what’s causing it, then it’s time to get a professional diagnosis. Just because something might be more irritating than agonising, the underlying reason(s) could be more serious.
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