If you are a fastidious keeper of lists: to-do lists, grocery lists, birthday lists, and even a gardening journal, your constant pain could finally be a thing of the past. Keeping a pain diary is really no different than your list of lists. How a pain diary can help you relieve pain.
Measure Your Pain
People with chronic pain know they suffer with it most days or every day, but when they see their doctor, they are at a loss for words to describe the pain or explain exactly what causes it. All they can say is, “It hurts.”
Keeping a pain diary helps you document how you feel day to day. Keeping this pain diary will be beneficial for Madison Medical Associates as well. It will provide more and specific information, and it will help to identify any patterns.
The following are specifics to include in your pain diary:
- The level of pain
- What you were doing
- Time of day when pain is worse or better
- Your level of stress when experiencing the pain
- What activities were you doing when you experienced your pain
If you write down everything, the picture will become clearer for you, and it will help your doctor diagnose what is going on and some treatment options.
Describe Your Pain
Try to describe the pain. Is it a sharp pain that radiates? Do you feel numb, itching, or have a tingling feeling? Is your pain more dull and throbbing or like an ache?
Record your pain as to the date and time. Be specific. Include how long it lasted, what did you eat or drink? Does it relate to environmental factors like a cold rainy day?
Score your pain on a scale of 0 to 10. Record what meds you took, and/or did you try any other therapies to help reduce your pain.
Over time you may see a pattern to your chronic pain, and Madison Medical Associates may be able to make recommendations to lessen it. You may learn your triggers and certain behavior that make it worse or better, and you can gain back some control over your chronic pain.
Contact Madison Medical Associates at (256) 325-1160 for more tips on creating a pain diary and interpreting it.