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Road Blocks To Adequate Pain Management

Pain Is Subjective.

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Pain is frequently referred to as the fifth vital sign. Unlike the other signs such as temperature, pain cannot be measured objectively. Instead, doctors have to rely on you to describe your pain. This involves: 
  • Where is it located?
  • Is the pain a throb, ache, sharp, stabbing etc?
  • Pain level on a scale of 1 - 10 (see below)
  • How frequent is the pain?
  • Does the pain spread or move?
  • Does lying down or resting or medication relieve the pain? If so, how successfully and for how long?
  • How does the pain impact on your daily activities and your ability to concentrate and think clearly? (For a list of daily activities to help jog your memory, see Daily Activities.)
  • Do you wear or use any device to relieve the pain or its effects? Be specific and describe everything you do to relieve pain, whether it's cool baths, warm baths, staying in a dark room, listening to music, loose clothing, sunglasses to cut down on glare or whatever.

We provide a Symptoms Diary to help you keep track of pain and its severity.

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