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December 2018 Issue
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When to see a health professional

If persistent pain is dragging you down, it’s time to see a health professional. Photo: Tony Gazely
Getting the odd niggle is part and parcel of an active lifestyle, but if you suffer from ongoing pain it’s time to see a doctor, writes Megan Sety
Aches and pains can be a common part of an active lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore or put up with persistent pain. Intermittent or ongoing pain can be a warning sign that something might become a serious problem or that an old injury is getting worse. You might be able to ignore the pain until one day you move just a little too much in the wrong way and find yourself with a serious injury because your body was already vulnerable. Next time you feel that nagging pain in the same old place, ask yourself:
  • Is your basic range of movement significantly limited (you’re not able to bend or twist, push or pull)?
  • Does it limit daily activities (cooking, driving, working)?
  • When it does flare up, do you have to stop your usual level of physical activity for several weeks to recover? Does this happen often?
  • Does the pain affect your sleep, mood or overall well-being?
  • Do you need drugs to manage the pain?
If you answer yes to some of these questions, it might be time to think about seeing a health practitioner for an assessment.