How to Talk about Chronic Pain with Your Doctor
Dealing with chronic pain can be overwhelming. Part of the distress many patients have is feeling like their doctors do not truly understand their symptoms. Pain is subjective, and people have different levels of tolerance to different painful sensations, but conveying how you’re feeling to your doctor accurately will help him or her find the best treatments for you, from physical therapy to medical massage. When you see a doctor for your chronic pain, try these techniques for discussing your symptoms.
Be Specific About the Sensations
It isn’t enough to tell your doctor that you are in pain and where it hurts. Being specific about the kinds of pain you’re feeling will help your doctor decide what kinds of treatments can help you. For example, do you have burning, tingling pain or aching, throbbing pain? These symptoms suggest different conditions to your doctor, and they tend to respond to different kinds of treatment. If you’re experiencing different kinds of pain, go through each of your symptoms and when they occur to help your doctor get a complete picture.
Talk About the Effects
It is helpful to tell your doctor about the ways that your pain is affecting your life. What activities do you have to avoid now? Have you had to change the way you work or miss out on things that were important to you because you’re in too much pain? Are you dealing with depression or anxiety that is associated with your pain? This information will give your doctor some insight into how pain is controlling your life, so he or she can decide how aggressive your treatment should be.
Explain the Things That You’ve Tried
You can save time and frustration by telling your doctor the things you have tried to manage pain. By knowing what has provided some relief and what hasn’t, your doctor can make more informed decisions about how to move forward in treating your chronic pain.
Manhattan Total Health offers a range of services to help people with chronic pain find symptom relief without medication, from medical massage and acupuncture to physical therapy and much more. Make an appointment with a physical therapist in New York NY or one of our other providers by calling (917) 636-4723.