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How to Effectively Talk About Pain with Your Doctor

Dec 23

Pain is a pervasive problem in the United States. It affects more than 25% of adults and as many as 50% of pain patients have chronic pain. In order to effectively talk about pain with your doctor, it's important that you understand some medical terminology. The first thing you should know is that pain can be acute or chronic pain. Acute pain typically resolves within 3 months from onset and chronic pain persists for at least three months and may continue for years without relief.

Here's a guide to assist you in communicating about pain with your pain doctor in Denver, Co. Here are some methods to make these talks go more smoothly:

You can keep track of your injuries and pains in a pain diary

Tracking your pain levels might offer useful context for your doctor, allowing them to spot patterns and recognize how pain affects your life. If your appointment is on a low- or no-pain day, your diary can demonstrate that the pain is still an issue even if you're not expressing it right now.

Keeping a pain diary on paper is possible in a variety of formats. This spreadsheet provides valuable information on how to recognize and document pain, as well as other useful subjects.

You may also use an app. Apps can send alerts to remind you to enter information. They can help you track trends and export your data in a neatly organized spreadsheet for your doctor's appointment.

Learn more descriptive terms for your pain

It's tough to express physical feelings in words, and you're unlikely to come across one that seems to fit exactly. However, learning more about the many terms your language offers for pain may assist you in communicating clearly. It might even aid your doctor in determining the source of your discomfort.

The following are some of the most frequent words used to describe pain. Make a note of which ones feel right for you:

  • aching
  • dull
  • cramping
  • hot
  • heavy
  • throbbing
  • gnawing
  • burning
  • stabbing
  • biting
  • tingling
  • splitting
  • tender
  • sharp
  • pinching
  • piercing
  • sore
  • shooting
  • sickening

Describe in detail how your pain affects your daily life

When Denver pain doctor notice that your suffering is affecting your ability to work, maintain relationships, care for yourself, or have an acceptable quality of life, they may take it more seriously.

Do you have a hard time focusing on things while in pain? Do you like spending time with your children? Do you drive or take the bus to get around? Is it difficult for you to get out of bed since it hurts? Are you unable to work out or go out with your pals because of your discomfort?

As you've probably discovered, untreated severe pain has a profound influence on nearly every aspect of our lives, no matter what body parts it affects. We become more quickly fatigued and irritable. We cease to perform activities like as exercising, cooking, and cleaning that are essential for good health and self-care.

Pain isn't only a bad experience. It initiates a chain of compelled options and compromises that degrades our lives in every way. Make sure your doctor in Denver, Co is aware of this.

Define what the numbers on the pain scale imply for you

The pain response scale is a common one used by pain management doctors to measure pain. You simply rate your discomfort from 0 to 10, with 0 indicating no pain and 10 signifying "the worst conceivable agony."

This scale has the potential for misunderstandings and bias to enter in, as many pain doctor and nurses have argued. I've always felt that medical professionals disregard my claims about suffering because I've never given birth—so what would I know about real pain? As a woman who has a uterus, I've always thought that clinicians discount my pain claims since they assume that childbirth is the apex of pain.

Of course, every mother goes through childbirth differently, and you can't really compare. But that's something I've heard both medical practitioners and laypeople say to me for my whole life.

If your physicians uses the pain scale, give them some context for how you're using it to describe what you're going through.

Tell them what the most excruciating pain you've ever gone through is, and how it compares to yours. Explain to them that you're not necessarily searching for a "0" — instead, explain your personal pain threshold for coping with discomfort on your own without taking medicine or Tylenol or ibuprofen.

When I mention the number 5, for example, I usually imply that it's there and distracting, but it isn't yet totally unmanageable. When I refer to a number higher than 6, such as 7 or 8, I'm certain that some sort of medicine is required. However , to be able to function relatively normally, it would need to be a pain that is less than the pain I experience on my "bad days."

Be aware of any prejudice and bring it to the attention proactively.

If you're a woman, transgender individual, person of color, or have a disability, mental illness, or physique type that society deems "unhealthy," you've probably noticed that doctors are fallible. They're not perfect at their jobs, and sometimes they make mistakes. Prejudice can be unconscious or may exist without a person being aware of it.

Pain doctor frequently dismiss symptoms, particularly pain, from individuals with larger bodies by telling them to "only lose weight." Some groups of people are labeled as "over-dramatic" or "over-sensitive," and their reports of pain are sometimes brushed aside by doctors as being "hysterical."

Bring someone to assist you if you're on your own.

Having a friend, spouse, or family member come to your appointment and “vouch for” your symptoms can assist if your pain specialists is doubtful — or if you have a high pain tolerance and don't seem as ill as you really are.

Given that one of the pain scales doctors frequently utilize is based on patients' facial emotions to assess their pain intensity, it's no surprise that those who don't show their discomfort have a harder time obtaining the treatment they require.

Be pain-aware and speak up when you need assistance

As a society, we tend to underestimate pain — until we experience it or witness others in pain. The truth is that pain is real and very difficult for the individual experiencing pain; everyone's threshold varies . Do not be ashamed of your limitations if they're made known by chronic pain conditions.

If your pain is bad enough that you need pain medication, ask for it. Do not be afraid of being an inconvenience to anyone — pain management doctors are there specifically to help individuals manage the pain they're going through. If a doctor tells you something can't be done about your chronic pain, request a different opinion from another professional or look into pain management clinics that take your insurance.

Pain clinics like The Denver pain Management Clinic can offer you comprehensive pain relief. They understand that everyone experiences pain differently and they will work with you to develop a pain management plan that works for your life.

If you're in pain, don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about it. They are there to help you manage your pain and improve your quality of life.