Does Your Pain Require Medical Attention?

What hurts? If you’re in pain, you’re not alone. More than a quarter of Americans reported that they had had a problem with pain that persisted for more than 24 hours. In fact, pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined. 

Pain is a general term that people use to describe feelings of discomfort. It can be sharp or dull, throbbing or cutting, and constant or sporadic. 

While pain is, well, painful, it’s not always bad. It alerts you to the fact that something is wrong. But some pain is so bad that it requires medical attention. 

Common forms of pain

Not all pain is the same. A National Institute of Health Statistics survey found that respondents reported low back pain, severe headache or migraine pain, neck pain, and facial ache or pain as the most common types of  pain. 

We also classify pain by its severity and duration. Acute pain comes on suddenly and sharply, usually from an injury or accident, and often doesn't last long. Once the injury is treated and healed, the pain usually goes away. 

Chronic pain is pain that is ongoing and lasts for more than six months. 

Pain that requires medical attention

You don't want to be running to the doctor each time you experience some pain. Sometimes it's obvious that you don't need to see a medical professional. Other times, you may wonder if you should suffer through the pain or get help. 

At Orange Orthopaedic Associates, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon James M. Lee Jr., MD, and the rest of our team don’t want you to live with pain. We put together this guide for some of the most common reasons you should seek medical help if you're in pain. 

Broken bone

If you hear a snap or feel a sharp pain and there is swelling, bruising, and tenderness, you may have a broken bone. Often you know if you've broken or fractured a bone, but other times, it just feels painful. 

You should always seek medical attention for a broken or fractured bone.

Sharp internal pain

If you experience sharp internal pain that doesn't go away with rest or over some time, you should seek medical attention. This pain could be due to a ruptured or damaged organ, such as your appendix. 

Chest pain

You should always seek medical attention immediately if you experience any chest pain, especially if it's accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, and dizziness. Chest pain could signal a heart attack. 

Disruptive pain

Chronic pain, which is pain that lasts for more than six months, can interfere with your daily activities and quality of life. No one should suffer through pain. A medical professional can help diagnose the cause of your pain and prescribe a treatment plan. 

Are you in pain? Call us at Orange Orthopaedic Associates to make an appointment or book an appointment online to find relief. We have offices in Bayonne, West Orange, and Tenafly, New Jersey.

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