The Excel Pain Diary is a free, easy to use spreadsheet. Filling it in on your computer means there are no problems with hand writing and the tabular format makes it easy for your doctor to get straight to the information they need. However if computers aren't your thing then ask a friend to print off a copy and fill it in my hand.
If you have an iphone you may want to consider using an app build specifically for that. Find out more about the iphone pain diary (see below).
The final alternative is to keep a written account. I don't really advise this as a way of communicating with your doctor who will be time pressed and want a way of getting at the essential information as quickly as possible Of course if your primary reason is to keep a record for yourself this way has the advantage of allowing you more space to add in the type of details that are important to you.
Bear in mind that the purpose of the pain diary is to help your doctor help you manage your pain better.
She needs to know precise information about the type of pain you are experiencing, what triggers it and what helps alleviate it.
Here is a screen shot of a partially filled in excel pain diary.
Each of your entries will take one line. I have added comments to some of the cells to remind you what needs to be entered. These have a small red triangle in the top right corner. Hover your mouse over the cell to read the comment.
The columns headings are explained here: -
|Date:||The date the pain occurred|
|Time Start:||The time the pain started|
|Time Finish||The time the pain ended|
|Severity:||This is based on a scale of 1 - 10 where 1 means no pain and 10 means the worst pain imaginable|
|Type:||What did the pain feel like?|
|Location of pain:||Describe the location of the pain|
|Medication:||List any medication used (include dose)|
|Other Pain Relief||Did you use anything else to control the pain e.g. a heat or an ice pack.|
|Trigger:||What were you doing when the pain started? E.g. sleeping, walking, carrying something heavy|
|Comments:||A place to add any notes you think might be useful|
When you are due for a doctor's appointment print off a copy of your diary to take with you or email to your doctor.
I used this Pain Diary for about two weeks before I changed onto one I could use on my phone. I found it helpful as my mind goes totally blank when I visit my doctor. I hope you find it useful too but if you don't or if you feel it could be improved in any way I would really like to hear your ideas. So please sent them in using the "contact me" form - there's a link to it at the very top of every page.
Many thanks for your feedback.
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