As Alaskans, we like to be tough. Going to the doctor only takes away from our fishing and adventure time so we usually push our bodies to the max, often leading to injury. Ignoring the aches and pains within your body can only lead to worsening the problem; people suffering from these four types of aches and pains should seek treatment before the condition worsens.
- Neck and Back Pain: If you are suffering from moderate to severe back and neck pain, this is not the sort of pain that you should tough out or hope it heals on its own. While a back ache can feel better after a day of rest or ice, it is unlikely that the problem has actually been fixed. Instead, you’ve just temporarily calmed it down. Chronic back and neck pain could eventually lead to loss of motivation to do any sort of physical exercise, leading to the loss of range of motion and muscle mass. Additionally, your neck and back pain could be causing other problems such as digestive issues, headaches, or irritability. Lastly, your back and neck pain could be the result of something serious, such as a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease. If you or a family member is experiencing moderate to severe continuing neck or back pain, I would urge a visit with your local chiropractor as soon as possible to avoid worsening the issue or causing new ones.
- Burning Nerve Pain: Experiencing chronic burning pain at the site of an already healed injury could be related to nerve damage. Often occurring after a blunt force trauma, surgery, or accident, nerve damage can quickly become totally debilitating if left untreated. Far too often people think that the pain will fade over time when in reality it only gets worse, becoming much harder to treat. If you are experiencing lasting pain, particularly burning, tingling and throbbing pain after a trauma or surgery talk to your doctor as soon as possible about the possibility of nerve damage, complex regional pain syndrome or other neuropathy disorders. Left untreated, nerve damage can spread and cause the patient to experience muscle atrophy and loss of mobility.
- Headaches: A healthy person shouldn’t be experiencing headaches on a regular basis. Chronic moderate to severe headaches can really cause issues in regards to daily activity and overall happiness. Migraines in particular can be very debilitating as they cause sensitivity to noise, motion and sound so severe that the only option is to lay in a quiet, dark room for hours. If you are experiencing headaches or migraines on a regular basis, talk to your doctor right away about possible causes and treatments. Your headaches could be caused by something such as an allergy to something in your home like dogs, cats, or plants. It could even be a habit, like too much screen time or stress. It could also be the indicator of a more serious problem in the brain that would require analysis by your doctor.
- Joint Pain: While easy to write off as exhaustion, awkward sleeping positions and cold weather, joint pain can be the sign of much more serious health problems. Joint pain can be associated with rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, infection and disease. Continuing joint pain can lead to loss of range of motion, swelling, tenderness, locking of the joints, and weakness. While you might think your knee is chronically sore because you played sports all your life, it could lead to more problems and a loss in daily activity or be a sign of something much worse going on that needs to be treated. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor about all of your bodily aches and pains, as some could be related, or causing the other issues you can’t see or understand on your own.