NYC's Premier Medi-Spa & Wellness Centers Manhattan Total Health is a full service Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation facility with 5 NYC locations.
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Tips for Discussing Your Chronic Pain Symptoms with Your Doctor

Chronic pain is a complex issue, and it requires a team approach. Board-certified physiatrists, physical therapists, and massage therapists may all play a role in your recovery. But before you can get started on your personalized treatment plan, you’ll need to help your doctor understand exactly what you’re experiencing. He or she needs to know about the exact locations, severity, and sensations of pain you feel.

The Location of Your Pain

Chronic pain may be localized, or confined to a specific area, or it can be widespread over a larger area. It’s also possible to have chronic referred pain, which is felt away from the area where it originates. Point out where you feel pain, and explain whether it feels like the pain is right at the surface of your skin, or whether it feels deeper, like bone pain.

The Frequency of Your Symptoms

Your doctor may ask you to keep a written record of when you experience symptoms. Specifically, he or she will need to know:

  • When your symptoms first began
  • Whether you feel pain continuously or intermittently
  • Whether your pain occurs or worsens during specific times or with certain activities
  • How long a pain episode lasts, if the pain is intermittent

The Severity of Your Pain

This is often the most difficult part about describing chronic pain to a doctor. Some patients try to downplay their symptoms, while others exaggerate them for fear of not receiving treatment otherwise. Regardless of how severe your chronic pain is, you can rest assured that your doctor only wants to help you feel well again. To help your doctor understand the severity of your pain, consider the following questions.

  • Does your pain affect the way you move?
  • Do you have to limit your activities or ask for help with tasks?
  • Does your pain get so bad that you hold back tears?
  • Is your pain manageable, but causing you worry and affecting your quality of life?

Additionally, consider using a comparison. Some people describe headaches as feeling like a hammer is pounding on their head, for example.

Manhattan Total Health offers a complete range of sports medicine services in New York, NY, including physiatry. Our board-certified medical doctors will work one-on-one with you to get you back on the path to wellness. Call us today at (888) 614-9257, and check out our website for information about physical therapy and chiropractic care to treat chronic pain.

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