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9 Most Common Pains You Experience and the Underlying Health Conditions That Cause Them

9 Most Common Pains You Experience and the Underlying Health Conditions That Cause Them

Knowing why you have pain is the first step to being able to fight it off. It could also be the best way for you to catch a severe condition before it becomes life-threatening.

Life is already pretty stressful when we're healthy. Running around to take care of chores, the family, our work, and our relationships can take a lot out of us. So when we start to experience aches and pains, it just adds to our stress. But maybe there's a way to relieve that tension - by identifying the pain early on and working to reduce it.

Here are nine of the most common aches and pains and simple ways to ease them. However, it is also essential that you visit the doctor to check for underlying health conditions that could turn deadly if not treated early.

1. Headache

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Headaches are one of the most common pains that adults suffer, no matter their age. According to the World Health Organization, 50-75% of the world's adult population suffers from headaches while 30% or more have reported migraines.

Common causes: Lack of and/or poor quality sleep, stress, skipped meals, poor posture

Possible underlying conditions: Blood clots, aneurysm, infection, hypertension, anxiety, depression, tumors

Solution: Doctor-prescribed medication and injections, meditation, better sleep, plenty of non-caffeinated fluids

2. Back pain

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that at least every eight in 10 people suffer from back pain. It can come and go suddenly for some people while for others it could be a dull, chronic pain.

Common causes: Bad posture, muscle strain, excess weight, improper lifting of heavy objects, smoking

Possible underlying conditions: Osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, ruptured discs, cancer (lung, spinal, stomach, etc.)

Solution: Prescribed medication, hot and cold packs, exercise, yoga, massage, posture fixing

3. Neck pain

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According to WebMD, your neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body and is less protected than the rest of your spine. Hence, it is easier to get sprains and strains. 

Common causes: Improper posture, neck strain, whiplash, bad sleeping position, inflammation, injury, infections

Possible underlying conditions:  Impending heart attack, meningitis, osteoarthritis, spondylitis, spinal stenosis, tuberculosis of the neck, fibromyalgia

Solution: Stretching, approved physical therapy, hot and cold packs, chiropractic treatment, massage, acupuncture

4. Muscle ache

People often try to do things their muscles aren’t trained to do, says Dr. John Stamatos, director of pain management at Syosset Hospital, New York. “If I told you to go to the gym and lift weights for three hours straight, you’d look at me like I was nuts," he says. "But most of us don’t think twice about going out and shoveling the driveway all afternoon."

Common causes: Overusing muscles during physical activity, injuring the muscle, flu or cold, low potassium

Possible underlying conditions: Fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders like lupus, thyroid conditions, bacterial infections

Solution: Gentle stretching, plenty of rest, massaging, hot showers

5. Abdominal pain

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According to Medical News Today, the most common cause of this type of pain is digestive issues and are usually easily resolved on their own. However, in certain cases, sudden, sharp pain can be a sign of an underlying issue that needs immediate attention.

Common causes: Indigestion, gas, cramps, constipation

Possible underlying conditions: Food poisoning, stomach flu, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, hernia, kidney stones, endometriosis

Solution: Heating pads, peppermint tea, plenty of water, over-the-counter medication, meditation, yoga

6. Pelvic pain

While women may be more affected by this type of pain as a result of menstruation, men can also experience it.

Common causes: Menstrual cramps, endometriosis, pain during ovulation (mittelschmerz), kidney stones, appendicitis

Possible underlying conditions: Urinary tract infection, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, hernia, Crohn's disease, bladder diseases

Solution: Medication, physical therapy, heating pads

7. Chest pain

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Chest pain might occur as a result of gas but as women are more prone to heart attacks, as stated by Harvard Health, it is essential to never ignore any chest pain. In fact, the Texas Heart Institute mentions that women are 40% more likely to suffer heart attacks than men.

Common causes: indigestion, reflux, muscle strain, inflammation in the rib joints near the breastbone

Possible underlying conditions: heart attack, pneumonia, asthma, peptic ulcers, shingles

Solution: medication, surgery (if the condition is severe), hot drinks, cold pack, home remedies including omega-3 fatty acids, pomegranate juice, etc

8. Toothache

Toothaches can be very painful and are usually attributed to wisdom teeth. However, there are other reasons you might be suffering from it.

Common causes: Tooth decay, damaged filling, infected gums, wisdom tooth entry, dental cavities, teeth grinding

Possible underlying conditions: Tooth fracture, periodontal disease, sinus infection, heart attack

Solution: Over-the-counter medication, keeping head elevated, root canal (in case of severe complication)

9. Joint swelling

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WebMD defines joint swelling as an increase of fluid in the tissues that surround the joints. This build-up can cause stiffness and pain when moving your joints.

Common causes: Injury, sprain, inflammation, incorrect posture, bursitis

Possible underlying conditions: Arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, spondylitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, cancer of the joint (rare)

Solution: Gradual rehabilitation physical therapy, hot and cold packs, stretching, yoga

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/back-pain/symptoms-causes/syc-20369906

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/headache/basics/causes/sym-20050800

https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/ss/slideshow-common-aches-pains

https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/types-pain-how-you-can-get-relief/

https://www.healthline.com/health/neck-pain#treatment

https://www.medicinenet.com/neck_pain/article.htm

https://www.healthline.com/health/muscle-aches#home-treatments

https://www.webmd.com/first-aid/abdominal-pain-in-adults-treatment

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353304

https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/pelvic-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050898

https://www.healthline.com/health/home-remedies-for-heart-pain#longterm

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-toothache-at-night#outlook

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/toothache#3

https://www.medicinenet.com/joint_pain/symptoms.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318286.php

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/gender-matters-heart-disease-risk-in-women

https://www.texasheart.org/heart-health/heart-information-center/topics/women-and-heart-disease/

https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/swollen-joints-joint-effusion#1

Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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