Why It’s Important to Keep a Pain Diary

When it comes to medical conditions, the more your doctor knows, the easier it is for him to make a diagnosis. Your doctor has to determine the cause/s of your pain to be able to create treatment plan.

One way for you to be able to give you’re a doctor a detailed data of your ailment is to create a pain diary.

What to record in your pain diary

To properly record your "pain data," doctors recommend doing the following:

Rate your pain on a scale at different times of the day.

Specify whether your pain disrupts your daily activities such as working or sleeping.

List down and describe treatments you may have taken or tried such as herbal medicines, yoga, etc.

Indicate any side effects of pain medications you have taken.

Specify anything that alleviates the pain; for instance, you feel better when you are sitting, instead of standing, or you feel better when you’ve just taken a hot shower.

You have to make regular entries on your pain diaries, otherwise it won’t give you and you’re an accurate record of your chronic pain. If you make notes on your diary religiously, eventually a pattern will emerge and your doctor will be able to see the complete picture.

Patterns and surprises

Be on the look out for odd pain triggers such as the stress of preparing a meal, or family issues.

Also observe patterns such a spike in the pain (that your meds can’t do away with) during certain times of the day. Your doctor will take note of that and possibly prescribe a different medication for you.

Do not get addicted to your diary

In your effort to keep an accurate record of your chronic pain, you might feel the urge to make an entry every hour of the day. Experts say that could backfire, focusing on something that’s bother you will make it worse.

Experts suggest making quick notes in during the day, and writing longer entries at night.

Source: health.com