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How to Describe Your Pain for Better Treatment

How to Describe Your Pain for Better Treatment

Though it might seem easy to do, describing the type of pain and for how long its occurred, can often be an easy task until you reach the doctor's office.

The Importance of Describing Your Pain

Everyone experiences pain differently, and the most accurate way to find a treatment plan is through proper communication. Though it might seem easy to do, describing the type of pain and for how long it’s occurred can often be an easy task until you reach the doctor's office. Many find themselves unsure of how to explain what they are experiencing.

However, with a few tips, you can more accurately describe what you feel, so that you and your healthcare provider can find a possible cause and work to create a treatment plan. Here’s what you should know:

Common Questions to Consider

Whether you’re living with acute (pain due to a recent injury) or chronic prolonged-lasting pain, the questions your doctor asks you will often be the same. Some common questions you might be asked include:

  • How long you’ve been experiencing your pain
  • Where the pain is occurring and if it’s localized or spreading
  • If the pain is constant
  • How your illness impacts your daily life

Does a specific activity trigger your pain? Is it severe enough that you can’t talk or move? These are all things that help your doctor better understand the cause of your pain. Remember to be detailed and specific as possible. Use keywords such as aching, cramping, sharp, or throbbing to describe how the pain feels.

Your doctor might also ask you to express your pain on a scale of one to 10. Though this varies, a pain level of ten will often leave you unable to talk. If you are unsure where you fall on the scale, ask your doctor for more clarification.

Keeping a Pain Diary

One way to better prepare for your appointment ahead is to consider starting a pain diary. When pain sets in, write down the time of day, the location of the pain, and how it feels. Doing so can help you find common triggers and causes. Remember to include words such as splitting, tender, or tiring, and be sure to add how long it lasts for.

If pain is impeding your daily life, Powder River Orthopedics & Spine (PROS) is here to help in Gillette, Wyoming. We can evaluate your options so you can rest assured that you get the best possible outcome and are back to a happy and active life in no time.

Call the PROS at 307-686-1413 or visit www.cchwyo.org/PROS to learn more.