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How Can I Describe My Pain to My Doctor?

When you are having pain of any kind, the better you can describe it, the easier it may be for your doctor to find the cause of the pain and treat your pain. Information that is helpful to your doctor includes:

  • How long you have had your pain
  • Where you feel the pain
  • Whether your pain is in one spot or spread out
  • How the pain feels and how severe it is
  • Whether pain is constant or comes and goes
  • What activities make pain worse or improve it
  • How your pain limits what you can do
  • How often the pain occurs and how long it lasts
  • Anything that triggers the pain

Keeping a pain diary is a good way to track your pain triggers as well as symptoms over time. Be as specific as possible and share your diary with your doctor. Together you can work to reduce your pain.

Source: National Institutes of Health

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