Pain isn’t something you should ignore. It is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. You should be particularly concerned about pain if it is getting in the way of day-to-day activities (especially basic functions).
This post delves into some of the pains that people experience around daily activities, what they mean, and when to see a doctor.
Pain while eating can be serious because it can take the joy out of food and lead to other issues like eating disorders or poor nutritional intake. There are a few different places where such pain may occur.
A toothache is the most common type of pain experienced while eating. This is typically caused by an infection of issues like wisdom teeth coming through. Always see a dentist if you experience a toothache – especially if it’s stopping you from eating.
Pain while swallowing could be caused by strep throat, tonsillitis, esophagitis or some other kind of throat problem. If the pain occurs when swallowing anything, you should see a doctor. It could get worse and prevent you from wanting to eat or drink anything.
If you experience stomach pain after eating, it could be due to a number of things. Food poisoning can cause stomach pain and is usually accompanied by nausea, diarrhoea or a temperature – this should go away after a couple days.
Food intolerances and allergies can meanwhile be triggered by specific foods and may cause stomach pain along with other symptoms like bloating (usually an intolerance) or an itchy mouth (usually an allergy). In most cases, stomach pain after eating is due to eating a specific food, and identifying this food can allow you to avoid it so that you can prevent future repeat symptoms.
A common cause of insomnia is pain. However, for some people, lying in bed itself can be the cause of pain. Many people with back pain find that certain sleeping positions can cause added pain. For other people, skin rashes can become more itchy and sore at night.
To reduce pain while sleeping, consider talking to a doctor to see what they recommend. A doctor may be able to prescribe you certain pain relief medication or recommend you to a specialist. Such specialists are likely to be able to suggest the best sleep positions. They may also be able to suggest changes in bedding – there may be certain mattresses you can buy to help support sore joints, or certain sheets that you can buy to reduce skin irritation.
It’s worth noting that going to bed stressed may exacerbate certain pains. Finding ways to relax before bed such as taking a long hot bath and avoid late night work/housework could help to reduce pain at night.
Going to the bathroom
Pain while peeing or pooping is never fun. As with other forms of pain, this can have so many causes, but there are a few common culprits.
For example, pain while urinating is almost always caused by a UTI. Your urine will usually be dark in color, smelly and it will sting. By drinking lots of water, you may be able to treat this on its own, however in many cases you may have to see a doctor to prescribe antibiotics.
Pain during bowel movements is meanwhile usually caused by constipation or haemorrhoids. You should see a doctor if it becomes very painful (especially if there’s blood in your poo). A prescription of laxatives or topical treatments may help.
Experiencing pain while walking? There are so many possible causes of this from tendonitis to arthritis to peripheral artery disease.
If you have been doing a lot of running or sports, it could be a sports injury. If you lead a more inactive lifestyle, it is more likely to be a circulation issue or arthritis. Working out exactly where in your body the pain is will help to diagnose it. For example, pain in the sole of the foot is likely to be plantar fasciitis.
Your best option is to speak to a doctor to narrow down symptoms. Walking pain is most common when getting older and can be due to wear and tear. But if caught early, you may be able to stop it progressing too much.
Some people experience pain while driving, which is usually caused by bad posture or some kind of injury. Such pain could make driving more challenging and potentially dangerous, so it’s important that you get to the bottom of it.
A few examples of common driving pains include lower back pain, foot pain or neck pain.
A specialised car pain doctor will be able to suggest treatment and recovery options. This may include getting physiotherapy, changing your seating position while driving and possibly taking a break from driving to let any injuries heal.
Many modern jobs require doing a lot of typing. Some people can end up developing a repetitive strain injury from all this typing, which usually takes the form of pain in the knuckles or wrist.
Typing pain is usually not caused by typing too much, but from adopting a poor arm posture while typing. If your computer keyboard is positioned too high, you’re more likely to experience wrist pain. Increasing the height of your chair or lowering your desk could fix this problem.
If ignored, this injury can turn into a chronic injury called carpal tunnel syndrome. When this happens, you should see a doctor and possibly take a break from typing altogether.
Using your phone
‘Smartphone finger’ or ‘text claw’ is a pain that is new to the 21st century. It typically involves an ache in the thumb, the wrist or the pinkie as a result of strain while using a smartphone.
Another pain associated with smartphones is ‘text neck’. This is a pain experienced from constantly craning over your phone. You’re more likely to experience this pain if you’re on your smartphone for long periods of the day. However, the way you hold your smartphone can also play a part. This post delves more into the right way to hold your smartphone to avoid injuries.