Managing Your Chronic Pain: How to Talk to Your Doctor

[fa icon="calendar"] Jun 21, 2019 12:40:20 PM / by Florida Pain Relief Centers

Florida Pain Relief Centers

Doctor listening to a patient at her practiceAt Florida Pain Relief Centers, we know that discussing your chronic and neuropathic pain condition with your healthcare provider is essential to receive the treatment and therapies needed for relief. However, we also recognize that talking about discomfort, loss of mobility, and reduced quality of life for patients is often more challenging than they realize. Unlike other disorders and syndromes that utilize sophisticated medical equipment to assist with the diagnosis and care process, there's no designated monitor doctors can use to get a firm understanding of pain levels; clinicians and patients must work closely with each other to establish a baseline for moving forward with treatment.

Know How to Communicate Your Pain to Clinicians and Specialists

Typically, practitioners in almost every clinical setting utilize a pain scale to help pinpoint pain levels, using various numbers or emojis to designate the intensity of a patient's chronic condition. Unfortunately, pain is often an individualized experience. What one person deems a one on the pain scale, another may consider a four or a five, rendering it impossible to treat by the numbers (or emojis) alone.

The subjective and personal nature of pain makes it vital for patients to know how to effectively discuss their discomfort levels on a more specific and universal plane. Understanding a few alternative communication tools can help your chronic pain specialist better calibrate your treatment plan to optimize results throughout the entire care continuum. Beyond the pain scale, you may want to:

Be Descriptive

Pain can be such an overwhelming experience that it solicits the use of vague and absolute statements, such as:

  • I never feel well
  • Everything hurts
  • I ache everywhere
  • Nothing helps

While statements like these may be absolutely accurate, mass generalizations can prevent a physician from expediently identifying the best course of treatment for patients. Be as expressive and specific as possible when discussing what aches and hurts. Description words provide doctors with invaluable insight on conditions and injuries. Tingling, throbbing, aching, burning, cramping, and numb are just a few words that can help you effectively describe your pain.

Address Impact on Daily Activities

Beyond pain intensity, you may also want to consider talking about the impact your neuropathic or chronic pain disorder has on your daily activities and routines. Consult with your doctor on how your condition is affecting your job, mobility, and ability to perform basic tasks. Talk about activities you've had to give up or modify due to being uncomfortable. You can also discuss how much of your day is consumed with thinking about pain. Giving your doctor as much information about your lifestyle, as well as how much your quality of life has changed, can provide a thorough understanding of physical discomfort and decline when developing a customized and effective treatment plan.

Journaling

Many patients find it helpful to journal about their chronic pain disorder in between doctor visits. Every day, jot down a description of pain levels, as well as the precise location and perception of intensity. Having a detailed outline of your discomfort experience can help your physician establish a personalized baseline, as well as better pinpoint if your disorder is showing signs of getting progressively better or worse.

Florida Pain Centers Specializes in Chronic and Neuropathic Pain Conditions

Florida Pain Centers' renowned team of pain specialists delivers non-invasive therapies and procedures for compassionate care that reduces aches and discomforts as well as increases overall quality of life. Contact your local office today to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified clinicians.

 

Topics: Florida Pain Relief Centers, Florida Pain Relief, Chronic Pain Management