The Importance of Describing Your Pain
When an injury or chronic pain occurs, the first thing most patients will experience is a doctor asking them to “describe the pain.” Though this might seem like just another unnecessary section of paperwork, it’s an essential part of your treatment plan.
For instance, for those in severe pain, the type that would hit level ten on the pain scale, speaking would not be possible and mobility could be compromised. When your doctor is asking about your pain, they are looking for cues, body language, and common symptoms so they can find the best treatment option for you. So to ensure you can adequately describe that pain, to the best of your ability, here’s everything you need to know:
Helpful Information For Your Doctor
Describing your pain isn’t always an easy task, but the most helpful information you can provide your doctor with includes:
- How long you’ve been in pain.
- How severe the pain is.
- Where it’s located (is it localized to one spot or does it spread).
- How often the pain occurs and lasts.
- What triggers the pain.
These things are all excellent starting points for your doctor to make a proper diagnosis.
How Does Your Pain Alter Your Life?
Consider keeping a pain diary to bring to the doctor with you. This will allow you to have a written record of common triggers and symptom changes. Try to be as detailed as possible by explaining how the pain alters your daily life and the way it feels. For instance, do you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Is it altering your mood? These details can all fully layout how your pain is impacting your daily life.
How Much Does It Hurt?
You might be asked to rate your pain on a scale from 1 to 10. Though everyone experiences pain differently, this will allow your doctor to get a better understanding of your pain tolerance as well as your body language. Remember to be honest about the type of pain you are feeling. Is it achy or sharp? Do you feel shooting or throbbing pains? These words can help best describe the pain you are going through and lead to a proper diagnosis.