How to Monitor Pain

Many of us experience pain – at all different levels and at all different times. Before you can treat pain, you need to assess what is really wrong. But first and foremost, do not ignore pain. If it’s chronic or severe and lasting more than a few hours, it’s important to see a health care professional and find out what’s wrong so you can receive proper treatment.

In order for the doctor to assess your condition efficiently and effectively, it’s important to go to your appointment prepared:

  • Keep a pain journal. Note when your symptoms seem to be worse, what activities exacerbate your pain, and what alleviates your pain.
  • Bring a record of what medications you have tried to alleviate your pain. Make sure to include over the counter medications as well as medications you have been prescribed by other doctors.
  • Bring any previous x-rays, CT scans, and MRI films with you to the doctor. The doctor may request previous records from other doctors you have seen.
  • Bring a list of your current medications. It is important for the doctor to know all of your medications, even those which are not for your pain condition. Also include any over the counter medications, dietary supplements, vitamins or minerals you consume.
  • Think about how your pain affects your life; does it prevent you from participating in your regular activities? Is there anything you would like to be able to do that your pain currently prevents you from doing?
  • Bring a list of questions you may have for the doctor.