We have all experienced some sort of aches and pains at one time or another. The minor types of aches and pains are generally not a cause for concern because we know what the cause of the irritations was. Common situations that cause soreness or pain are typically related to sleeping in the wrong position and waking up with a stiff neck or sore shoulder, lifting heavy objects, exercising too forcefully, experiencing unusually high levels of tension or stress, or bumping into an unexpected object like a doorway or table. We understand the resulting discomfort and know that it will go away within a reasonable amount of time.

Concerns about New Aches and Pains
However, your body may be telling you something if you experience a new body ache or pain that seems to come on suddenly without any known cause or change in your daily routine. A new discomfort that continues to hurt for a long period of time without any relief, or the pain comes and goes at different times, is a situation that might need medical attention.

When you have healthcare coverage with Medicare benefits, you can schedule an office visit with your provider to discuss your situation. Your doctor will be able to ask you specific questions, do a physical examination, order any tests that may be related to your new ache or pain, and determine if you need to see a specialist.

Please note: If the new ache or pain you are experiencing is related to pressure in your chest or the inability to breathe normally, do not wait to make a medical appointment and get emergency medical help as soon as possible. The fastest approach for immediate assistance is for you or someone who is with you to call 911.

When to See Your Doctor
Some new aches or pains are felt within your body while other aches and pains may be accompanied by signs you can see like a sudden bruise, a change in your skin coloring, bloody stools or urine, swelling in the area that hurts, unexplained weight loss or gain, or severe nausea. Regardless of whether you only feel the hurt or the hurt comes with visible signs, seeking medical attention is always a good policy. You don’t have to suffer from new medical issues since your Medicare benefits do include both routine and unscheduled medical appointments.

If you already have health issues such as physical disabilities, or diabetes, heart, or lung problems, and you are concerned that your new ache or pain is related to your pre-existing condition, you may feel more comfortable in calling your specialist before calling your primary healthcare provider. Regardless of who you call, be kind to yourself by calling a medical professional about the change in your situation.

What to Tell Your Doctor
It will help you and your doctor if you are able to make a list of the new changes in your health condition before going to your appointment. Ask a family member or a caregiver to help you with the list if you think you might miss any of the important details. Some of the details that will help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis include the following:

1. Where the ache or pain is located
2. Describe the type of pain as dull, sharp, shooting, intense, stabbing, etc.
3. When you noticed that the symptoms started
4. Whether the symptoms come and go or are they non-stop
5. Are there any movements or positions that increase or ease the level of pain
6. Have you changed any of your daily routines
7. What home remedies or over-the-counter medications have you tried to ease the pain
8. Have you started taking any new vitamins or minerals
9. Do you have any new prescriptions from other doctors that may conflict with your standard medicines
10. Any other facts that may be associated with the new ache or pain

Bottom Line
The start of new aches and pains that persist for more than a day or two is a signal that your body needs attention. And the best person to give that attention to you is your health care provider. Make an office appointment, keep that appointment, bring your detailed list of aches and pains, and let your doctor do his best to treat your symptoms.

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