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Pain Diary

If you suffer from chronic pain than a pain diary is definitely a "must have" tool because pain is hard to remember and describe accurately after its passed.

Think about the times when you've tried to explain how much pain you've been in or to answer your doctor's questions about location and duration. It's not easy is it? If youre like me you'll stumble around trying to recall the details and all the time worrying that you're getting it all wrong.

With a well managed diary you can accurately record all the details that are needed which enables you to become an active partner in your pain management program.

There are two different tools that I recommend for recording pain.

The first, and the one I use is an IPhone Diary and the other a computer based Excel diary. that I put together. Of course the latter can be printed off and filled in by hand if you prefer.

How often should I fill in my diary?

Which ever method you chose to use you will need to consider how often you will complete the diary.

There are two possible strategies.

  1. Fill in your diary when, and only when, you're in pain. I find this the easiest method because I find it hard to remember to fill in the diary if I'm not in pain. The disadvantage is that if you forget to fill in the diary it implies that you weren't in pain. So it is important to keep the diary updated.
  2. The second method is to fill it in at 3 or 4 set times a day and report on how you are feeling at that time. Suggested times are: - when you wake, lunch time, supper time and before going to bed. This takes a bit more work. The disadvantage is that you might miss out a whole painful episode that occurred between the set times.

My strategy is to be as flexible as I need to be and to make as much use of the notes column as necessary.

Use the data

After you've used the diary for a couple of weeks it is worth analysing the data. Look for trends. Does the pain come on at a particular time of day? Is there some sort of activity that triggers it? Has the intensity stayed largely the same or changed? What helps you most?

Ask your doctor

It's also a good idea to ask the person you're providing the information to what sort of information is important to them.Pain is very draining. It affects our sleep, our appetite and our mood. It stops us socialising and working. Being active in your pain management is the smartest way of helping your doctor help you.

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Hip Pain Relief 
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