Being injured is just the beginning of an often long road to hopefully getting back to "normal". Many people struggle daily for years with pain that they find hard to explain to their doctors or loved ones. We are accustomed to dealing with pain and not complain and simply move on with our life. When a person breaks an arm or has a deep laceration, it is simple to explain the pain and have others understand. But what do you do when the pain comes from an injury not so easily relatable or diagnosed.
Remember that only you can tell how you feel after an injury, only you can inform a doctor. Don't be afraid to speak out and don't feel you have to "low ball" your pain.
Lynn Scurfield for NPR recently wrote a great article regarding the 1-10 pain scale and provided some great advise on how to better communicate your pain
1. Get Descriptive
Help your doctors understand you pain by being more descriptive. Don't be afraid to use words like; aching, burning, throbbing.
You can describe maybe what it feels like...for example "the pain shoots down my arm like someone stuck a needle from my shoulder to my elbow". That is how I describe the pain I currently have from a shoulder injury.
You can also compare your pain to other situations you may have had, like childbirth or broken bones.
2. Describe your day
Tell your doctor how your pain effects you through the day. Is it worse at certain times...like the morning or evening. Does it hurt more when you eat, walk or do other activities.
My shoulder pain comes in waves. It will hurt more if I have been sitting a long time. Obviously it will hurt more with activities like throwing a football or playing around with my kids.
3. Talk about function, not feeling
Be clear about how your pain interferes with daily activities, such as getting out of bed early, getting dressed, feeling fatigued, or no longer enjoying getting out with friends.
Be sure your doctor understands what the prevents you from doing. What activities can you no longer perform, that you used to do prior to your injury?
4. Share your treatment history
Share other treatments you've sought, such as acupuncture, massage and certain medications. Make sure the doctor know your history and what may have been effective in helping the injury.
If You Have Questions About an Injury You Suffered
Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.