How to Talk About Your Level of Pain

January 8, 2016
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When you go to a chiropractor because you are in pain, it’s important to know how to talk about the level of pain that you are in. The more you are able to convey the level of pain, the easier it will be for your chiropractor to provide assistance. A pain scale can be one of the easiest ways to help with your explanation.

Unfortunately, there is no test that can be run to tell the chiropractor what kind of pain you are in. This means it is up to you to identify it on a scale. The scale that is most commonly used features cartoon faces that move between zero and 10. Zero is a smiling face while 10 is crying in pain. You want to match your level of pain with the face. Even if your chiropractor doesn’t use this particular scale, you will likely be asked to put a number to your pain. It is important to be honest so that you and your chiropractor are on the same page.

The pain charts can also be particularly helpful for children as well as people who are not the best at being able to use their words to explain. You also don’t want to try and put on a brave face and lower your pain level. If you’re at a 9 or a 10, be honest so the chiropractor knows just how much it all hurts.

You may also be asked what the worst amount of pain you have ever experienced is, which could be childbirth, a kidney stone, or something else. That pain is then used as your benchmark.

Once you have a comparison and you are able to identify the level of pain that you are in, it allows the doctor to establish a treatment plan to help relieve the pain. Each time you go in for a visit, you are going to be asked the same question. This makes it possible to monitor pain over time to see how you are progressing and how well the treatment plan is working.

In addition to talking about the pain in terms of a number on a chart, you want to talk about how the pain works. Is it constant? Does it throb? Is it a shooting pain? Does it hurt more when you perform certain movements? All of this is important to share as it can help a chiropractor to understand more about how the pain is affecting you.

Remember, two people could have the same affliction, yet the pain can be perceived very differently. You may feel the pain more than someone else. The chiropractor’s goal is to help you with the pain so that it is reduced. After all, you don’t want to be in any more pain than absolutely necessary and being able to explain the pain is critical.

You’re not doing yourself any favors by downplaying your pain. Start with identifying the level of pain that you are experiencing on a chart and then fill it in with any other comments. Be vocal because you’re the only one who can truly tell the chiropractor how much something is hurting you. This will also make it that much easier to get you on a treatment plan that’s going to work.

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