Speaking to your doctor about pain

We understand how hard it can be to fully communicate how your pain feels. Let us help you prepare for your appointment with your doctor, so you can get the best support possible to manage your pain.

Having a good working partnership with your doctor is vital for good pain management.

Start by arranging a double appointment, so you have time to cover everything you’d like to discuss.

Before your appointment, work through the following questions. Make a note of your answers and take them with you - they can help your doctor assess your pain and work out the best way to treat it.

Where is the pain?

Be as specific as possible.

What does the pain feel like?

This helps your doctor work out what might be causing it.

Words to help you describe your pain
Aching Tearing Tingling
Dull Wrenching Burning
Heavy Throbbing Sickening
Tender Pricking Mild
Pinching Sharp Annoying
Gnawing Shooting Intense
Cramping Stinging Unbearable

 

How bad is the pain?

Try to rate your pain on a scale of zero to 10 - zero is where there is no pain, and 10 is the worst pain you can imagine.

Before your appointment you might find it useful to keep a daily log of your pain, with notes about what you were doing at the time.

What has helped you relieve the pain?

Make a note of any medications you’ve tried so far, the dose you took and whether it worked. You can take the packaging with you to show your doctor.

Also mention anything else you’ve tried, such as applying warmth, relaxation or exercise, and score the pain before and after to gauge how effective it was.