Back Pain, Sore Throat and More: When to Seek a Doctor in Every Setting? – 13/10/2022

Periodic pain is normal and does not always indicate a serious problem – these are signs that the human body is indicating that something is wrong and needs attention.

“Medicine sees pain differently today, it has become the fifth vital sign. Before, we checked the temperature, heart rate, blood pressure and saturation. But today, listening to the patient to classify the level of his pain is essential. One of the big goals in the emergency room is to make a patient leave with less pain than when he arrived, which does not always happen if the person is not well heard. , explains Lucas Albanaz, general practitioner, pain specialist and coordinator of the Clinic of Santa Lúcia Hospital, in Brasilia.

But the truth is, not all pain should be considered cause for concern or urgent enough to see a doctor.

“There is a pain threshold which is individual, some people have less sensitivity. The same lesion in the body can have a different intensity according to each individual. But pathologies can interfere with this too, in particular those which affect the peripheral nerves “, emphasizes Nilton Carneiro, cardiologist and general practitioner at the Santa Catarina-Paulista Hospital (SP).

Some people still suffer from chronic pain, especially those dealing with autoimmune or aggressive diseases. What characterizes pain as chronic, in general, explains Carneiro, is its duration, commonly defined as more than three months.

Below, with expert help, Live well lists some of the main pains that affect Brazilians and what are the signs that you should see a doctor.

Back pain they’re very common – caused by things like sitting too long and sleeping poorly – so don’t assume the worst.

“Almost everyone has back pain at some point. Back ache it can be scary. But even when the pain is severe, it usually goes away on its own within a few weeks. Cases requiring urgent care or surgery are rare,” says Carneiro.

The doctor also explains that the intensity of the pain ends up being a screening. “If the score pain is very severe and prevents the person from performing tasks, medical attention should be immediate.”

Eric For God, general practitioner and professor at the UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco), also lists below other important reasons to seek specialist care – first in an emergency room or with a general practitioner, then with a possible referral to professionals from other specialties. Ask for help if:

  • Pain does not begin to improve within four weeks
  • Has recently had a fall or injured his back
  • Having numbness or weakness in the legs
  • Have problems with bladder or bowel control
  • Have unexplained weight loss
  • HAS fever or feel sick in some other way
  • Take corticosteroids, such as prednisoneregularly
  • Have diabetes or a medical condition that weakens your immune system
  • Have a history of cancer or osteoporosis
Stomach pain - LaylaBird/Istock - LaylaBird/Istock
Image: LaylaBird/Istock

Also called “epigastric pain” or abdominal pain, the condition has several possible causes.

It can be caused by something the person has eaten, but, as the UFPE professor explains, especially in patients over 40, with a history of Diabetes Where hypertension, one cannot fail to look for a possible cardiovascular cause. Other important warning signs are when the pain occurs right after an intense episode of stress or physical activity.

“Sometimes during a heart attack, instead of the patient feeling the pain directly in the chest, they feel it above the stomach. Some come to the emergency room saying they ate something that didn’t go well and discover the most serious condition after doing an electrocardiogram.

A doctor should also be consulted if the person experiences pain soon after eating, has refluxbleeds in the stool, has a fever or suffers from very intense pain.

The experts consulted by Live well indicate that, in most cases, pain on urination raises suspicion urinary tract infection among clinicians.

Pain when urinating - Istock - Istock
Image: Istock

“The first ‘cut’ used for suspicion is biological sex, since urinary tract infection is much more common in females due to anatomy. The male individual, although showing very similar symptoms, can suffer from other conditions, such as prostatitiswhich causes an inflammatory process, for example,” explains Nilton Carneiro.

If the discomfort lasts a few days, it is necessary to seek specialized help before self-medication. If the patient takes leftover antibiotics from a past infection, for example, the wrong way, there is a risk of creating bacterial resistance, leading to a more serious condition.

Most people do not need to see a doctor to sore throat. The discomfort is usually self-limiting, meaning it will pass within a few days of the end of the cycle of the secondary condition that caused it.

But some signs, as physician Erick Pordeus explains, may indicate greater severity and require medical follow-up. Among them are a fever above 38°C and severe pain in the first two days and no improvement in the period of five to seven days.

The prescription of antibiotics, says Lucas Albanaz, must be very well evaluated by the doctor. “The drugs have side effects, which can generate bacterial resistance and even negative reflexes for our body, such as vomiting, diarrhea and dysbiosis – because the drug can kill not only bad bacterial flora, but also beneficial bacteria, which help our intestines to function well. So you have to be very careful when making this type of prescription and self-medication.”

Sore throat - Ugur Karakoc/Istock - Ugur Karakoc/Istock
Image: Ugur Karakoc/Istock

“Another warning symptom is white patches in the throat and tonsil area, which indicate a secondary bacterial infection. This is one of the cases in which a doctor’s consultation is necessary,” explains the specialist at Santa Catarina-Paulista Hospital.

Sore throat can also be a symptom of covid-19, so it is recommended to see a doctor if other symptoms caused by the virus, such as fatigue, coughfever and loss of taste and smell are also experienced.

Chest pain that comes on suddenly, in an acute form, is a condition that requires immediate referral to the emergency room.

“If associated with respiration, it is less likely to be a cardiological problem. It could be fluid accumulation in the pericardium or pleura, pulmonary embolism, low oxygenation and even a bone-muscle disease. But it’s very difficult for the individual to self-assess, and emergencies are not conducive to error,” emphasizes Carneiro.

Pain when breathing - AntonioGuillem/iStock - AntonioGuillem/iStock
Image: Antonio Guillem/iStock

The impending airway compromise, Pordeus adds, shows signs such as excessive drooling and difficulty swallowing saliva, swelling of the neck or tongue, and difficulty moving the neck or opening the mouth — all symptoms that also require immediate medical evaluation.

THE earache often requires a medical evaluation. It is more common in children, presented by a condition called otitis. Recurrence is greater because the Eustachian tube in children is flatter and shorter, making them more susceptible to inflammation and infection.

According to Lucas Albanaz, a doctor at Santa Lúcia Hospital, the earache can also be the reflex of a sore throat that ends up radiating to the Eustachian tube. “It can, yes, be a picture of infection, but a doctor needs to assess whether there’s any relationship to other illnesses or pictures,” he says.

Earache - Marco VDM/iStock - Marco VDM/iStock
Image: Marco VDM/iStock

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