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How to Explain Pain to Your Doctor

Consumer Conscious

For many people, significant pain is a constant companion that prevents them from enjoying life to the fullest. Medical experts all agree that pain is the most common complaint they hear from their patients. The American Pain Society says 50 million Americans suffer partial disability from pain or total disability due to pain. This boils down to almost half of all Americans seeking care for persistent pain at some point in their life.

A common myth in America is that those who take pain medication for relief will become addicted to it. This is especially a concern among older people. Those abusing ultram or other pain medications should seek help before starting a new medication.

However, with newer medications and a better understanding of drug interactions, one can safely control their pain with medication. Medications taken properly and under a doctor's care should pose very little, if any threat.

In addition to new medications having fewer side effects, other techniques come into play in pain management. Education, music therapy, mental imagery, exercise and other relaxing activities aid in a pain management program. These added techniques help people deal with pain more effectively and reduce the need for drugs.

Person in pain Following is a list of specific words and definitions to help you communicate with your doctor about your pain.

  • Constant -- fixed, unchanging
  • Intermittent -- coming and going at intervals
  • Sharp -- causing intense distress, piercing
  • Dull -- lacking intensity
  • Cramping -- sudden, painful contraction of muscle
  • Superficial -- on the surface
  • Deep -- extending far down, within or outward
  • Aching -- dull, persistent pain
  • Throbbing -- to pulsate or pound with abnormal force
  • Crushing -- to grind or pound with abnormal force
  • Localized -- to fix or confine
  • Radiating -- spread out and around from a center of injury
  • Stabbing -- quick thrust sensation
  • Burning -- feeling "on fire"

If you are experiencing significant pain, consult openly and honestly with your doctor.

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