Pain is a subjective measurement of something gone wrong with our bodies. We measure the severity in numerical values. For example, on a scale of 1-10 with ten being the worst; where is your pain level? We do this because each of us has a different pain level threshold and a ten then means our worst pain and is not in comparison to someone else’s level.
An important thing to remember about pain is that it is a symptom of something gone wrong. If you take medicines to mask the pain or dull the pain, be sure that first you understand where it is coming from and if it needs further investigation. If you fall or are hit by a tossed ball, you can correlate the pain with the act. If the pain is more severe than the act would predispose it to be – there could be underlying damage that needs to be investigated. Or if the pain increases over the next few days rather than abates, that could indicate a more serious problem. The rule is to listen to your body. Pay attention to where the pain is, how severe it is, if it changes and if it radiates to other parts of your body.
Some pain needs to be taken very seriously and there should be no delay in seeking help Two examples are a sudden headache never experienced before and crushing chest pain.
Any pain that you cannot correlate to a reason or an action should be brought to the attention of a health care provider. As we become more active in the spring and summer months – many of these aches are to be expected. Moving muscles that were inactive all winter can cause discomfort. But if you are calmly trimming the bushes and get a crushing chest pain that sends you flat to the ground…that is not to be expected.
If you do experience chest pain that you think is your heart, take two aspirin and call for an ambulance. Do not attempt to drive yourself to the emergency room. Statistics show that those who survive a heart attack are the ones treated by paramedics on the way to the emergency room.
The rule for muscle sprains and strains is to use RICE therapy. Rest Ice Compress Elevate. Always use ice for the first 72 hrs of an injury – not heat. Ice will reduce the swelling and the inflammation. If possible wrap the injured muscle in an ace bandage, elevate and put ice on. And Rest…let the muscle heal.
All that said…enjoy the outdoor and take some long walks in our beautiful park system.
Annandale Women and Family Center – Gynecologist Alexandria VA
2839 Duke Street Alexandria, Virginia 22314