Severe muscle or joint aches

Severe muscle or joint aches

Rest and over-the-counter pain relievers can provide relief, but if pain persists for more than a few days, you may need medical help. Seek emergency care if an injury or illness prevents you from moving your arms or legs.

Pain that lasts for more than two weeks can be a sign of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout or an autoimmune disease. More commonly, it’s likely to be muscular. If your doctor doesn’t know what causes it and you haven’t had any improvement in pain after eight weeks of self-care (such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and rest), go to an emergency room or urgent care center. It could also mean you pulled a muscle: Stretch it gently and take ibuprofen before getting out of bed each morning until your injury improves. If neither gets better with time, see a doctor.

You might be dealing with a simple muscle strain, but you could also have more serious issues like rhabdomyolysis or compartment syndrome. The best way to know for sure is by seeing a medical professional in person. Intense vomiting and diarrhea: The most common culprits are viral gastroenteritis and food poisoning, but both can also indicate conditions like appendicitis or inflammatory bowel disease. Your doctor will be able to tell you if your symptoms are due to one of these illnesses or another condition entirely. Headaches that don’t get better with treatment: Tension headaches, migraines, and cluster headaches can all be diagnosed and treated at home without any risk of permanent harm — but only if they’re caught early on.

A sign of infection. If you have chronic joint pain, have undergone surgery or if your muscles ache in ways they shouldn’t, you could be in danger of a serious illness like hepatitis or HIV. Severe shortness of breath: This is sometimes a sign of lung disease and often signals heart problems. Chest pain: It may be a sign of a heart attack (if it’s severe) or angina (if it’s more mild). Vomiting that doesn’t improve: Vomiting without relief can be caused by several serious conditions like appendicitis, toxic shock syndrome and meningitis. Incontinence: This can indicate neurological damage, kidney issues and urinary tract infections.

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