5 types of pain that could signal a dangerous health problem

We all get little aches and pains every once in a while. Maybe you slept wrong and woke up with a stiff neck. Or, did you push a little too hard on the treadmill this morning?

While it’s common to get these types of twinges here and there, the National Institute of Health or NIH says that about 11 percent of people don’t just experience off and on problems but instead live with chronic pain.

If you’re one of them, you may have written off your discomfort to a side effect of aging.

However, while this can be the case sometimes, it’s important to know that some types of pain can be indicators of far more serious issues and should never be ignored.

That’s why we’re going to count down five common types of pain that should trigger an immediate visit to your doctor to rule out an underlying medical condition.

1. Low back pain

Okay, so most of us have probably had low back pain at one time or another during our lives. In fact, you might be interested to know that it’s estimated that a whopping 80 percent of us will experience low back discomfort at some point in time.

And, while most of the incidences of this type of pain are nothing more than a passing problem, in rare instances, it can be something much, much worse.

So, how can you tell the difference?

According to the experts, if you experience sudden or severe low back pain along with bowel or bladder problems, it’s time to head to the emergency room. That’s because this type of pain can be an indication of a condition known as cauda equina syndrome.

Cauda equina syndrome or CES can be caused by a tumor or a ruptured disc that has compressed the nerves of your spine and can cause everything from permanent incontinence to paralysis. Because of this, it requires emergency surgery.

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2. Upper back pain

Who hasn’t experience some pain between their shoulder blades, right?

Well, once again, while a little discomfort may be no big deal, if you experience severe upper back pain, an aortic dissection could be to blame.

A dissection occurs when the inner layer of your aorta tears and once again requires emergency surgery since it can be fatal if it goes untreated.

In fact, the Mayo Clinic points out that early detection and treatment of aortic dissection can be life-saving.

3. Calf pain

If you deal with regular calf pain after lifting weights or putting in a long run, it’s most likely nothing to worry about.

However, if you suddenly find yourself with an aching calf with no explanation, you could be experiencing deep vein thrombosis or DVT, which occurs when a clot lodges in your lower leg – something that is more likely to happen when you’ve been sedentary too long such as after a long car ride or plane flight.

Other signs include skin discoloration and warmth of your calf.

Related: 9 times to listen to your body’s signals

4. Jaw pain

TMJ pain is pretty common, especially for people who also experience neck pain or who grind their teeth.

However, if you suddenly experience jaw pain, especially on the left, lower side, it could be warning you of a heart attack to come.

The Cleveland Clinic says that the phenomenon occurs due to the fact that when you’re experiencing heart issues, nerves become activated that can refer pain to your jaw. This is especially common in women.

5. Foot pain

If you don’t have a brand new pair of shoes to blame your unrelenting foot pain (or even numbness) on, it could be time to get your blood sugar checked.

That’s because these are both common signs of uncontrolled diabetes.

It’s important to note that according to endocrinologists, it can take years to move from pre-diabetes to the full-blown disease, so if you’re at risk, it’s vital to have your blood sugar levels checked at least once every three years to monitor your progress.

Remember, sometimes pain can be normal — the kind that passes relatively quickly and has an obvious origin. However, if you’re living with any of the types of pain above, don’t write them off. See your doctor to rule out any dangerous underlying health conditions.

Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!


  1. 25 Common Pains You Should Never Ignore — Best Life
Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.