Chronic Pain: Difficult To Measure, Frustrating To Treat


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Chronic pain: difficult to measure, frustrating to treat

Published on July 20th, 2018 by Eric Slepian

“On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain level?”

This question is one of the most subjective questions patients answer when they visit the doctor. It can also be one of the most important for people suffering from chronic pain, as the answer gives medical professionals a way to score that pain. It is far from an exact science, however, and doctors and researchers continue to search for reliable means of measuring and locating pain.

This means that people with pain face several challenges when it comes to securing a diagnosis and effective treatment. If you suffer from chronic or severe pain, below are a few suggestions for getting help to alleviate your symptoms.

Be an advocate for yourself

One of the most important things that sufferers of chronic pain can do is to advocate for themselves. This means seeking out qualified medical care, getting second opinions when appropriate and trusting your instincts if you feel like something about your health or treatment is off.

Be honest about your symptoms

If you have chronic pain, you should not minimize or dismiss your symptoms, even when others struggle to understand them. Visit your doctor regularly and be honest about the frequency and degree of pain. Do not feel like you need to undermine or dismiss your symptoms because of what others might think.

Keep solid records

Make sure you retain records related to your condition. This includes a list of your medications, details of any side effects, dates of your doctor visits, days of work you had to miss due to your condition and test results.

Not only can good record keeping help you manage your care and make it easier to discuss your symptoms with doctors, it can also make the process of applying for disability benefits easier as well if your condition prevents you from working for at least a year.

Millions of people struggle with chronic pain, and it can take an incredible toll on sufferers and their families. By advocating for yourself, being honest about your symptoms and keeping accurate records, however, it can be a little easier to get the care and support you deserve.

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