How to act in chronic pain

Chronic pain, that is, repeated or constant pain, is a reason to see a doctor. But a GP is not a clairvoyant, which makes it important to be able to describe the pain properly and to indicate exactly where the pain is. The GP will also ask a number of questions for which clear answers are important for making the correct diagnosis. It is good to consider a number of questions and find answers before visiting the doctor.

Chronic pain and no longer functioning normally

Chronic pain can significantly affect daily life. It is therefore good to recognize in time that the limit has been reached so as not to lose control over life due to chronic pain. Pain can take so much toll that normal functioning is no longer possible. Experimenting with painkillers on your own is also not a good thing. Initially, the GP is the designated care provider.

Describing chronic pain

The exact description of the pain is sometimes not so easy. Yet the patient’s story is the most important pillar for the GP to make a diagnosis. By asking questions, the GP tries to find out what his advice should be. Questions include, for example, how long the pain has lasted, how bad the pain is and how often and how long the pain occurs. It is also important for the GP to know in which situations the pain mainly occurs. For example in a work situation or during certain actions. There may have been a serious injury at the site where the chronic pain occurs.

Signals to the environment

Pain can be experienced in different ways. It can feel like a stinging sensation in one spot and can also radiate to a larger area. Good advice for chronic pain is also not to keep walking around without sending signals to the environment. Without information they cannot help or take it into account. Understanding and help from those around you can also contribute to less pain perception. There are also special patient organizations where people with pain can go and talk about their problems.

Distraction for less experience

Chronic pain is also largely a personal experience. Even though comparing the pain of different people is not really possible, it often seems that one person finds certain pain terrible while another suffers less from it. It is also known that the experience can be reduced by distracting the thoughts. Doing fun things such as going out to a movie or the theater or a distracting hobby can certainly diminish the experience. It is also known that many people feel less pain during their holidays than once they return home.

A good story from the doctor

Before a visit to the doctor, a lot of things can be considered at home to be able to keep a good story. Questions include:

  • Where exactly is the pain?
  • How can the pain be described?
  • Does the pain radiate?
  • When is the pain present?
  • When is the pain most severe?
  • Does it mainly occur during certain actions?
  • Does certain actions make it worse?
  • Are there ways to prevent the pain?
  • Are there ways to reduce the pain?
  • Does the pain affect sleep patterns?
  • Can the pain be indicated on a scale of 0 to 10?
  • Does that pain rating change throughout the day?
  • Are there short or long lasting pain attacks?
  • If so, how often do they occur and how long do they last?
  • What things go especially well without pain?
  • Does the pain depend on high-stress situations?


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